Iran TerrorismGermany tightens truck sales to Iran, Syria over rocket...

Germany tightens truck sales to Iran, Syria over rocket fears

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ImageBloomberg: Germany tightened rules on the sale of heavy trucks to Iran and Syria over concern that the vehicles may be used to launch short- and medium-range missiles.

By Brian Parkin

ImageMay 19 (Bloomberg) — Germany tightened rules on the sale of heavy trucks to Iran and Syria over concern that the vehicles may be used to launch short- and medium-range missiles.

In a ruling issued today by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, vendors of trucks with three or more axles weighing at least 20,000 kilograms (20 metric tons) will in future need permission for Iran- or Syria-bound sales, according to parliament's daily bulletin.

Merkel's government has gained information "that both countries use ordinary civilian vehicles for their mobile military rocket programs," the bulletin reported, citing the government. Short- and medium-range rockets "pose a special risk in the politically instable Middle East," it said.

European Union states last year adopted United Nations embargo recommendations on limiting so-called dual-use exports that can be adapted in Iran for military use. Permits for selling dual-use technology are granted only in exceptional cases, according to the German industry and trade chambers that advises vendors.

Ute von Fellberg, a spokeswoman for Daimler AG, said in an interview today that the truck maker has no current program of sales of three-axle vehicles to Iran. Truck-maker MAN AG's spokeswoman Nina Gutzeit today didn't respond to phone calls made to her office. MAN and Daimler AG's truck division both have sales offices in Iran.

Merkel's arms export controllers, an ad-hoc council of ministers, convenes in secret and does not report in detail on its deliberations.

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