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. 10,000 German jobs jeopardised by Iran sanctions: chambers of commerce
BERLIN, Sept 1 (AFP) Sep 01, 2006
More than 10,000 jobs in Germany could be jeopardised if economic sanctions are imposed against Iran, the German federation of chambers of commerce DIHK said Friday.

"Economic sanctions against Iran would not solve political problems, as the example of Iraq has shown dramatically," it said in a statement.

"The German economy would be severely hit in an important growth market. The loss of business in Iran could threaten more than 10,000 jobs in Germany," it said.

The conflict between Iran and the international community has already generated a climate of uncertainty which was having a negative effect on growth, the federation argued.

German exports to Iran had fallen by 10 percent in the first six months of the current year.

DIHK said that around 50 German companies had branches in Iran and more than 12,000 firms had representatives there.

Iran was the biggest market in the Middle East for German exports in 2005, ahead of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Germany exported goods worth more than 4.4 billion euros (5.6 billion dollars) there in 2005.

A UN Security Council deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment -- a process used to run a nuclear power plant or potentially fuel an atomic bomb -- passed Thursday without compliance from the Islamic republic.

The United States and the EU fear that Iran wants to build nuclear weapons, a suspicion that Tehran has repeatedly insisted is unfounded, and say that international sanctions against Iran may be the next step.

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