The hypocritical Europeans...
We'll never get sanctions against Iran - the Europeans love trading with Ahmadinejad...
Europe boasts of its efforts to foil the Iranian nuclear program, but in reality has been trading with the Islamic Republic in the amount of some €65 billion (roughly $91 billion) in the past three years.
The leading countries in trade with Iran include Spain, France, Italy, Holland and Belgium, a document obtained by Ynet that has been circulating in the Foreign Ministry and based on European Union numbers showed.
Calls for harsher sanctions against Iran in hopes of stopping its nuclear armament continue to increase. Among other things, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the matter with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit to Germany last week.
France has also adamantly demanded that Iran put an end to its nuclear program, and has threatened harsher sanctions if it fails to do so.
However, the document circulating in the Foreign Ministry shows that these very same countries continue to maintain extensive trade ties with Tehran estimated at billions of euros per year.
This means that even if European governments do seek sanctions against Iran, they are likely to be faced with opposition from the hundreds of thousands of employees of companies that trade with Iran whose livelihood may suffer.
According to the data presented in the document, between January and July of 2009, trade between the 27 European Union countries and Iran amounted to some €10 billion (about $14 billion).
While this is a decline compared to the same period in 2008, when trade amounted to €14.5 billion (around $20 billion), it is still a significant amount, which could make it difficult for these countries to impose economic sanctions on Tehran.