The head of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce said Germany sold 2.358 billion euros ($2.846 billion) worth of goods to Iran, and imported just $328 million worth of goods from Iran in nine months from January through October 2017.
Michael Tockuss, head of Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag (DIHK), added that German exports to Iran grew by more than 27 percent year-on-year from 2015 to 2016, and remain on a steep upward curve, according to Deutsche Welle (DW) on Tuesday.
“Germany’s trade surplus with Iran is massive,” Tockuss said.
“But that’s nothing new. The Iranians complain about it from time to time, and we try to find ways to encourage more Iranian exports into Europe and Germany, but we’ve been running big trade surpluses with Iran for forty years,” he added.
One might imagine that trade between Iran and Germany is about sending oil in one direction, and automobiles in the other, but that’s incorrect, Tockuss continued.
“We (Germany) don’t buy crude oil from Iran,” he said.
“Our refineries aren’t designed to deal with the high-sulfur crude Iran produces. Only Italy and Greece have refineries that can process it, so they’re the main European importers of Iranian oil.”
“Around 60 percent of Iran’s total trade revenues come from oil and gas sales. That’s a lot — but the other 40 percent are important too. Iran’s economy is the most industrially diversified in the region,” Tockuss went on to say.
Diplomatic and trade relations between Iran and European countries, Germany in particular, have improved greatly since the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), came into force in January 2016.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)