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August 06, 2008 

Allies say Germany is "Wobbly" on Pressuring Iran

There has been a great deal of criticism of Germany's Federal Office of Economics and Export Control [known as BAFA] recent decision to approve the sale and export equipment to be used in three new gas liquefaction facilities in Southern Iran, even though such sale is not prohibited by German law or current U.N. sanctions.

From McClatchy Newspapers' Washington Bureau:

Germany's allies are dismayed that the German government has granted a German firm permission to supply three natural gas plants to Iran at the same time they're trying to pressure Iran into suspending its nuclear program, U.S. and European officials said Tuesday.

"The Germans are very wobbly, and certainly the French, the British and the Americans are quite worried," said a European diplomat, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "Their spine needs to be stiffened. The more mixed messages, the more it plays into the Iranians' hands."

There is "significant concern" in the Bush administration over the $156 million natural gas deal, said a U.S. official, who also requested anonymity, citing diplomatic sensitivities.

The comments appeared to be an effort to pressure the German government to reconsider its decision by calling public attention to the deal.

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