Siemens using traders to circumvent Iranian Sanctions

Siemens AG, listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange (FWB: SIE), is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe with approximately 300,000 employees.

Being very active in the oil and gas industry, having a hard to beat bribery scandals resume, focusing solely on the profit and executives’ bonuses, without considering the worldwide consequences of their action, gives Siemens AG two sides of the crime triangle: Desire and ability.

The Opportunity

On June 24 2010, US Congress adapts Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 with a vote of 99-0 at the senate.  These regulations and sanctions were intended to target US and non-US firms active in the US, from investing and providing goods and services for Iranian energy sector.

In other words, any US or non US company active in US market or connected to the US financial network or work with US Dollar, is prohibited from proving any equipment, services or parts, valued more than $1 Million. None compliance of this act would result in possible sanctions and financial penalties.

Siemens AG, while announces that they no longer provide equipment and services for final destination of Iran, uses this opportunity to use its partners and associate companies to circumvent the Iranian sanctions to maximize its profit. 

In one example, in late 2010 and 2011, Siemens AG, used HATCO (Hava Abzar Tehran) Corporation, which claims to be a partner of Siemens AG and Linde (another American company active in the oil and gas industry), as a middle man to provide three Integrally Geared Centrifugal Compressors with suctions pressure of 1 Bar and discharge 10 Bars to be installed and used at phase 19 of the South Pars Gas Field Development in Asalouyeh Seaport, north of Persian Gulf in Iran.

The three highly technical compressors, which were an absolute must to operate the plant, purchase by HATCO (Hava Abzar Tehran), were manufactured at the Leipzig plant of Siemens Turbomachinery Equipment GmbH. A plant purchased by Siemens AG from PGW. 

The equipment and spare parts which were purchased by HATCO (Hava Abzar Tehran) from Siemens for about €6 Million and supplied to Petro Pars Iran ,the EPC contactor for phase 19 of the South Pars Gas Field Development and in listed of US sanctions, are Dual USE goods with military and nuclear enrichment applications.

While the exact same machines with same specifications, engineering and even tag numbers, were custom made by Siemens in 2007 and 2008 for two other South Pars phases in Iran (Phases 15/16 and Phases 17/18), and “made to order” nature of these machines, it was crystal clear to Siemens that the machines that were purchased by HATCO (Hava Abzar Tehran)  was for Iranian end user.  

The equipment and spare parts were handed over to HATCO (Hava Abzar Tehran) in Germany and it is unclear in what applications these machines are being used, bearing in mind the desperateness of the Iranians for technology to expand their ballistic missile and nuclear enrichment programs.

HATCO (Hava Abzar Tehran) claims that the equipment are handed over to Petro Pars Iran (PPI) on their website:

US authorities have started an investigation on this matter in 2020 but the result is yet unknown.