Israeli Company Embroiled in Controversy Over Iran Trade Allegations

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 8:40 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

An Israeli company is embroiled in controversy after it was blacklisted by the U.S. State Department last week for allegedly trading with Iran.

Ofer Brothers Group, which is owned by Israel's wealthiest family, was sanctioned because one of its subsidiaries sold an oil tanker to Iran.

The U.S. and allies have imposed sanctions against trade with Iran due to its controversial nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.

On Tuesday, an Israeli parliamentary hearing on the Ofer company ended shortly after it started when the hearing chairman, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, received a note from an aide.

The lawmaker has not revealed what the note said. He has said only that the note was not from a “political or business source.”

The U.S. State Department has said the Ofer business group should be held responsible for the actions of its subsidiaries.

Ofer Brothers Group has denied any wrongdoing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Israeli government has not approved any deals with Iran.

Israeli media have fueled an uproar about the scandal, with calls for a criminal investigation.

Israel considers Iran to be a major enemy and frequently calls for the world to take aggressive measures to curb Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions.