Report: U.S ambassador to Germany plays hardball on Iran

by WorldTribune Staff, August 8, 2018

The U.S. ambassador to Germany has delivered a blunt message to German companies, either do business with the United States or Iran – but not both.

Ambassador Richard Grenell is convincing German companies to go with the U.S.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. / AP

Grenell was instrumental in German car company Daimler’s decision to cancel expansion plans in Iran as the ambassador met with Daimler’s CEO on several occasions, a U.S. official told The Daily Caller.

“We are pleased to see German businesses stopping their trade with Iran, complying with U.S. sanctions, and helping pressure the Iranian regime back to the table. We stand together to stop Iran’s malign activities,” Grenell tweeted on Aug. 7.

Automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz announced on Aug. 7 that it had frozen all business with Iran due “to applicable sanctions.” The first wave of U.S. sanctions will impact Iran’s automobile sector, as well as trade in precious metals.

German sportswear company Adidas also announced it would pull the plug on its business with Iran. Adidas said in a statement last week that it will not extend commercial agreements with Iran’s soccer association. Iran’s state-controlled media reported that Adidas withdrew from Iran’s market because it fears damage to its business in the U.S.

Grenell also successfully lobbied against a $400 million payment to Iran from the German central bank.

Since pulling out of the nuclear deal in May, the administration of President Donald Trump has begun to re-impose sanctions that the Obama administration removed as part of the deal.

The sanctions will also limit Iran’s ability to use the U.S. dollar and target its import/export businesses to the United States. The sanctions also affect any company that wishes do business with U.S. entities.

Grenell has met with several other CEOs of major German companies who had planned to do business in Iran, delivering a message from the White House: “The Trump administration intends to fully enforce the sanctions reimposed against Iran, and those who fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences.”

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