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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Press release: EGL Business with Iran under Criticism

STOP THE BOMB announces protests at EGL shareholders' meeting on Monday, 24th, 2011


The European coalition STOP THE BOMB emphasizes that the new sanctions against Iran adopted by the Swiss government yesterday are far from sufficient for putting a stop to the Iranian nuclear program - a property they share with the EU sanctions imposed this autumn. The 2008 contract between EGL and Iran, providing the regime with billions of dollars in exchange for natural gas, is not in any way affected by the Swiss Federal Council's resolution to tighten its sanctions, according to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

STOP THE BOMB thus announces to stage a protest rally against business with Iran at the EGL's annual shareholders' meeting taking place on January 24th in Baden near Zurich. Activists of STOP THE BOMB will be distributing leaflets in front of the Trafo Congress Center located at Brown-Boveri-Square from 09:30 am. Activists will also take part in the meeting as critical shareholders and ask questions about the company's business with Iran. Simone Dinah Hartmann, European spokesperson of STOP THE BOMB, demands the complete cancellation of the multi-billion Francs deal EGL has concluded with the Iranian regime: "Despite EGL's current restraint, the company affirmed to adhere to the gas supply contract closed with Iran. The only appropriate thing to do, however, would be to withdraw from the contract. At the same time, we also want to draw the attention to other Swiss companies conducting business with Iran, such as Holcim, Zeochem, Sulzer, ABB, Buehler, and Ceresola. With their trade ties they are in fact co-sponsoring the Iranian regime's policies of armament and oppression." STOP THE BOMB demands a European ban on Iranian natural gas and oil. It is especially through exporting these goods that the Iranian regime can finance its nuclear and missile program and remain in power in the face of massive discontent among the Iranian population.

 STOP THE BOMB also rejects the so-called "Human Rights Dialogue" between Switzerland and Iran which serves the Iranian regime to cover its inhuman crimes. Akio Elyasi of the Democratic Party Kurdistan-Iran, who lives in exile in Switzerland, is outraged by last week's trip of State Secretary Peter Maurer to Iran. While Maurer paid tribute to the Iranian regime, thousands of dissidents and freedom fighters were suffering in prisons, tortured and threatened with execution: "Instead, we demand: No dialogue with the Iranian regime! Support the secular and democratic opposition!"