Israeli company denies accusations of trade with Iran
The Israeli conglomerate at the centre of a storm over trade with Iran on Tuesday said it had mistakenly been linked by authorities in the United States to the sale of a tanker to the Islamic Republic, DPA reported.
The US State Department on May 24 listed the Ofer Holdings Group among seven companies facing sanctions for dealing with Iran. The department said the group was the parent company of Tanker Pacific, which is also on the list.
Ofer Holdings on Tuesday said it "did not have any business, administrative or controlling relationship" with Tanker Pacific.
"Our company's name was accidentally inserted into the selling of the Raffles Park ship and we are working opposite US authorities to remedy this unfortunate mistake by the State Department and lift the sanctions imposed on us," the company said.
Ofer Holdings' response came in the form of a letter sent to a parliamentary committee which was set Tuesday to discuss the matter.
The accusation of an Israeli company doing business with Iran, even indirectly, caused a storm in Israel, which has been loud in its demands for sanctions to be imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear programme.
Ofer Holdings Group is one of Israel's largest privately-owned businesses. It owns and operates a large maritime fleet and has interests in the property, banking and high tech sectors.