Siemens, Banks Bow to US Pressure to End Iran Biz

Firms falling in line with anti-nuke arm-twisting
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2007 4:44 AM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, delivers his speech during an inaugurating ceremony of a petrochemical plant at Asalouyeh on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Siemens company in Germany, one of the world's largest engineering operations, and the country's three largest banks are cutting business ties with Iran under White House pressure to get out or risk US interests. It's a sign that major European corporations are beginning to line up behind American economic pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is urging companies in his nation to follow in Siemens' footsteps, and several major British banks are also scaling back. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is advocating for tougher new sanctions. US officials have complained that European businesses working with Iran were undermining American strategy.