MK Carmel Shama
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Government mulls Iran trade ban

After Ofer Brothers' scandal, bill suggests prison sentence, hefty fine for those found to have traded with Islamic Republic

The Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs will discuss a bill initiated by MK Carmel Shama proposing to impose a prison sentence and a fine on Israeli companies trading with Iran.


The proposal followed sanctions imposed by the US on the Ofer Brothers Group for selling a tanker to Iran via a subsidiary company. The past few years have also seen several of the company's ships docking in Iran, according to a Calcalist report.



The bill stipulates that courts could sentence individuals convicted of holding business ties with the Islamic Republic to one year in prison. A fine could reach NIS 5 million (roughly $1.46 million) or alternatively a sum amounting to three times the foreseeable profit.


On Tuesday, MK Shama caused a stir by abruptly ending a Knesset Economics Committee meeting discussing the Ofer Brothers affair after receiving a mysterious note.


He claims his bill "adopts the norms adopted by the international community to stop the Iranian nuclear program".


"Unlike the existing law from the year 2000, which forbids financial institutions from investing in Iran, this bill bans companies and corporations maintaining any business relationship which violates the sanctions, directly or indirectly," he said. 


Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan on Wednesday rejected claims that the Ofer Brothers broke the law by ordering their ships to dock in Iran. "They didn’t trade with Iran – they are a shipping company; besides, there is no boycott on Iran," he stated.



פרסום ראשון: 06.02.11, 16:42
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