Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee that the Prime Minister's Office never approved any Israeli ship to dock or unload cargo in Iran, including ships owned by the shipping company owned by the Ofer family.
Responding to a question by MK Ophir Akonis (Likud), Netanyahu said, "Israel has a very clear policy about Iran, which is not to maintain ties of any kind with it."
Akonis then asked if the Prime Minister's Office knew of the Ofer family's Irangate. Netanyahu replied that he learned of the case in the media, and that he checked to ensure that no approval had ever been granted.
Israel's National Security Council requires any company selling oil tankers to verify the identity of the buyer and whether it has any ties with Iran. It also forbids trading in equipment that could help Iran's nuclear program. Israeli law defines Iran as a hostile state, and therefore bans any commercial ties with it.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 30, 2011
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