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ADL slams Shell, Austrian energy giant for taking part in Iran conference

ADL slams Shell, Austrian energy giant for taking part in Iran conference

By Benjamin Weinthal, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

30/08/2008

Two oil conglomerates participating in an energy conference in Iran are guilty of “hindering efforts to isolate” the Islamic Republic, the Anti-Defamation League charged on Friday. 

Officials from Austrian energy giant OMV and the multinational Shell corporation are scheduled to attend a conference in Tehran sponsored by Iran’s state-run energy firm. The meet is set to take place in early October.

“These two companies are co-sponsoring a conference by the state-owned energy company of the leading state-sponsor of terrorism and human rights violator,” the ADL said. “By promoting one of Iran’s strategic industries, natural gas, OMV and Shell are hindering the effort of responsible states and corporations to isolate Iran.” 

OMV, Austria’s state-owned energy and gas company, negotiated a 22 billion euro agreement to develop Iranian gas and oil fields. The deal evoked a negative reaction from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who remarked earlier this year that the deal set a dangerous precedent. 

The OMV deal, signed in April 2007, was also met with mounting criticism in Austria. But Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, asked by the Austrian daily Die Presse how the deal squares with his Social Democratic Party’s tradition of “human rights before business,” responded: “The tradition never held true.”

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1016533.html

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