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Friday, February 23, 2024

Protest Rally: Shut down the European-Iranian Terror Bank!

On February 27, 2011 STOP THE BOMB organized a second protest rally in front of the building of the European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH) in Hamburg.

Afterwards a panel discussion with Mina Ahadi (exil-Iranian human rights activist and spokesperson of the Comittee against Stoning and Executions), Solmaz Shiva (22Khordad-Hamburg), Dr. Kazem Moussavi (Green Party of Iran), Jonathan Weckerle (STOP THE BOMB) and Ulrike Becker (Moderation, STOP THE BOMB) took place.

A full documentation of both the protest and the panel discussion is available.

See also:

Overview: The European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH)

Call for protests against the EIH on Feb. 27, 2011

Persian invitation فارسی  (PDF)

STOP THE BOMB protests against the EIH in 2010



Call for protests on February 27: Shut down the Iranian Terror Bank in Hamburg! Solidarity with the Iranian freedom movement

The Bank EIH supports the Islamist regime and undermines sanctions

Hamburg is the home to one of the world’s most important remaining supporters of the inhuman and anti-Semitic regime in Iran: The European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH). While international sanctions are putting ever-increasing pressure on the Islamist regime, it is noteworthy that a bank in Germany, owned by the Islamic Republic is instrumental in keeping the genocidal Iranian regime in power.

According to US authorities, EIH has provided important financial services to the Iranian nuclear weapons program - EIH is in fact controlled by the Iranian regime. Despite of this fact, Germany is still blocking sanctions against EIH.

To this day, EIH is one of the world’s most important lifelines for the economic viability of the Islamic Republic. Not only German companies conduct their ever-increasing business with Iran via EIH, but companies from other European countries and beyond use this bank for financial transactions which would otherwise be quite difficult if not downright impossible. Starting in 2011 billions of Euros are being transferred to Iran via EIH from the export of Iranian crude oil to India. For months, no other bank in the world could be found willing to provide this service.

Obviously, money and goods that reach Iran with the assistance of EIH strengthen the Iranian regime: This money supports and enables the continued repression of the Iranian opposition, of women, homosexuals, religious and ethnic minorities in Iran, and finances the support for Islamist forces worldwide as well as the war against Israel by Hamas and Hezbollah.

While democratic forces in Tunisia, Egypt and several other countries are rising up against dictatorships, it is crucial to counter Islamist forces and the relentless Iranian efforts of spreading the “Islamic revolution”. Due to the support of its bank in Hamburg, the Iranian regime endangers the pro-democracy movements in the entire Near East!

 The German government continues to refuse effective measures against EIH like adding it to the list of sanctions of the European Union and to shut it down. Where is the German rejection of dictatorial regimes and where is the “special responsibility” to Israel?

Since the list of targeted sanctions of the European Union will be updated soon, we demand:

EIH should be closed down and must finally be added to the list of sanctions of the European Union! No deals with the Iranian regime!

We support solidarity with the Iranian freedom movement and all democratic and anti-Islamist forces in the Near East!

Place: Hamburg, Depenau 2 (U Meßberg)

Time: Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, 3.00 pm

At 5.00 pm, there will be a panel discussion with prominent speakers in nearby rooms of the Mahnmal St. Nikolai (Willy-Brandt-Straße 60).


Video about the EIH with English subtitles (Source)

Overview: The European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH)

Last update: Feb. 12, 2011

On September 7, 2010, the US sanctioned the Hamburg-based EIH.

According to the US Treasury, the EIH has supported Iranian proliferation activities.

According to these sources, the EIH facilitated transactions for weapons and material for the Iranian nuclear and missile program. It has provided financial services for Iranian banks that are on the EU sanctions list because of proliferation activities. Additionally, the bank actively engages in deceptive practices.

The EIH is a bank of the Iranian regime. Its stock is divided between Iranian state banks, two of them are on the EU sanctions list. The EIH management is linked to the ruling elite of the Islamic republic of Iran. The Deputy Chairman of the Board Ali Divandari is in person mentioned in the EU sanctions list because of proliferation activities.

Stuart Levey, the US Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence has called the EIH “a key financial lifeline for Iran”. The EIH plays a crucial role for the foreign trade of the Islamic Republic: “Our customers can be found in Iran as well as on all continents and in all branches. The range of the deals that we are in charge with reaches from the handling of small single transactions to complete large-scale projects.”

According to STOP THE BOMB information (gathered at an Iran seminar of the Austrian Trade Chamber in December 2010) the EIH handles approximately 50 transactions per day above 40.000 Euros (which have to be approved after the latest EU sanctions). According to our information, a big part of the Iran trade of Europe and other countries, e.g. Taiwan and South Korea, is done via the EIH. Also the Iranian company formations in Germany, approximately 25 per year, are made with the EIH.

German business with Iran grew again in 2010, despite sanctions and with help of the EIH. German exports to the Islamic Republic of Iran increased 5% until November 2010, compared to the same period in 2009; imports increased even 77%. Especially the German machine builders achieved an export plus of 17.5%. While some big companies are retreating from Iran, the mid-sized companies are still doing best business.

The billion dollars of the Iranian trade with India show the strategic importance of the EIH as a loophole of the financial sanctions. In December 2010, the Indian Central Bank banned Indian companies from doing payments for oil and gas deals with Iran via the Asian Clearing Union (ACU). Now these deals are made via the EIH, after no other bank could be found worldwide. They bring approximately 13 billion dollar per year to the Iranian government coffers.

The German federal government has been asked several times to take steps against the EIH. After requests from president Obama and the Israeli government, 11 member of the US senate from both parties wrote to the German Foreign Minister Westerwelle: “Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank must halt these practices [that support the Iranian nuclear program] or be closed immediately.”

The German government has to take steps to put the EIH on the EU sanctions list. The activities of the EIH have to be stopped and the pressure of economic sanctions against the regime has to be increased. Only with international unity can sanctions be an effective tool of diplomacy.

Selected sources and articles:





Media Reports

Handelsblatt - Iran-Bank klagt gegen Sanktionierung (18.9.2011)

Wall Street Journal - German Bank Defies Sanctions (26.5.2011)

Matthias Küntzel - Berlin lässt iranische Bank in Hamburg fallen (15.5.2011)

Wall Street Journal - Germany Joins EU Plan to Sanction Iranian Bank (13.5.2011)

Report München - Die umstrittene EIH-Bank (April 18, 2011)

Wall Street Journal - Germany Rebuffs U.S. Calls to Shut Iran Bank (April 12, 2011)

Jerusalem Post - 'German firms finance world champ in Holocaust denial' (April 5, 2011)

Financial Express - Finmin looks for more neutral bank for Iran crude payment (April 5, 2011)

Ynet News - Iran’s generous friends (April 1, 2011)

Der Spiegel - Two Journalists and an Oil Transaction (April 1, 2011)

New York Times - U.S. Presses Germany to Block Indian Payments to Iran for Oil (March 31, 2011)

Radio Farda - «پرداخت پول نفت صادراتی ایران به هند از طریق بانک فدرال آلمان»

Haaretz - A nuclear bank in Germany (March 10, 2011)

Jewish Chronicle - German Iran-link bank under fire (March 4, 2011)

Fox News on EIH and STOP THE BOMB Protests (Feb. 22, 2011)

Find more articles on the German version of this page.


US letter to Westerwelle

On February 2, 2011, 11 US senators from both parties have sent a letter to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank must halt these practices [that support the Iranian nuclear program] or be closed immediately.”