We have no indication that the cartoon row has had a negative effect on trade and business there. The top executives in the region are highly educated and have close relations with their German counterparts. They are not affected by the conflict.

Some German machinery firms are highly dependent on doing business with Iran, so sanctions would hit them very hard. We are expecting a steep decline in trade for this year already. Several companies are slowly pulling out because of the unstable situation in Iran. It's simply too risky for them.

Given the current political situation, this business (Iran) will be less and less interesting for German companies in the medium and long term.

As a result, there will be very few orders won (by German companies).

Sanctions weld together the state and the population.

In the short term, sales of some European consumer goods producers could suffer. However, on the other hand, western consumer goods in the region enjoy a high prestige.

We have no indication that business connections have gotten worse between German enterprises and their partners in the Middle East.