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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a copy of a news report that was released a short while ago...

Austrian Arms Manufacturer Sold 800 Rifles to Iran
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, VIENNA

The Austrian government authorized the sale of 800 rifles classified as war weapons to Iran for use by that country’s police, the Austrian interior ministry said Feb. 9, after a local newspaper reported that Washington had tried to stop the deal.

The Wirtshaftsblatt said the Austrian arms manufacturer Steyr-Mannlicher had already begun delivering the 800 “sniper-type” .50 HS Steyr rifles, fitted with a telescope, to Iran.

The daily quoted the head of Steyr-Mannlicher, Wolfgang Fuerlinger, as saying that the United States had put pressure on him as it feared that the rifles could fall into the hands of terrorists in Iran, but “gave no proof to back up their concerns.”

He said the rifles, which have a range of 1,500 meters (1.653 yards) did not classify as anti-tank weaponry.

Interior ministry spokesman Rudolf Gollia told Agence France-Presse: “An authorization, granted last year, was necessary for the exportation of these arms, which are classified as war weapons.”

He added that there was no embargo on selling such arms to Iran.

Gollia said he did not believe that there was any reason to fear that the arms would be obtained by terrorists.

“We asked the Iranians to give us a certificate stating that the end-user of the weapons would be the Iranian police who would use it to protect the country’s borders and to combat drug trafficking.”

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=648937&C=mideast

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I have mixed emotions about their marketing strategy. I could accept it from a firm which manufactures weapons for sale to military entities only, it happens everday around the world. But for a firm with commercial interests in the U.S., does it make sense?

:?: [/url]
 

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Business is Business. You accept it and move on.
It is controversial to us, because of our stance with Iran, based on politics in this country.

If we were in a neutral country, or in a country that was friendly with Iran, we would all think nothing of it.

Let's be thankful that they went to Iran. They are going to have a tough time doing their standard "Spray and Pray" drills with that rifle.

If they went to Switzerland and we had relations with Switzerland like Iran, it would have been worse for us. Monthly quals equals a country full of expert marksmen in Switzerland.

I don't blame Steyr for making the deal they did. The firearms business is highly competitive and you have firms that produce very similar products in close proximity to one another striving to make a living...There is a limited number of potential, qualified clients that can buy in suitable numbers to keep the operations moving. An order of 800 "serious", precision, heavy Sniper rifles is a handsome one, indeed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As if we have the moral position to comment?

We are selling F-16's to Pakistan...... while they continue to develop nuclear weapon technology (some bought from us....) for sale to the highest bidder.....
Where do we find the balls to have anything to say about rifles sold to Iran?
The only surpirse is that WE didn't sell them first...... :roll:
 

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While it is/was a business decision. The way it is being spun on the net and in news outlets creates a public relations problem for Steyr

I've already seen several posts on other gun boards from people who "claim" they would not purchase a Steyr based on the sale.

One or two would not effect anything but if enough people felt that way it could effect the ability of Steyr to operate in the US as a viable company.

When S&W signed the agreement with the Klintons, enough people boycotted that eventually the company value went down and the owners sold the company.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No doubt a business decision, but in the grand scheme of things (marketing strategy) I think they are short sighted and in the long run this business decision may negatively impact their attempts at penetrating the US civilian markets, as madecov eluded to. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on dozens of companies worldwide over the past decade for supplying Tehran with equipment that could be used for nuclear or conventional warfare.

Let’s not forget Iran remains the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in the planning of and support for terrorist acts and continued to exhort a variety of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals. Pakistan and Switzerland are not classified as state sponsors, as they are not a party to any of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism. There are legitimate concerns that these arms could end up in the hands of militants in Iraq, and to dismiss them would be unconscionable.

Steyr Mannlicher GmbH’s Wolfgang Fuerlinger responded “ the United States had put pressure on him as it feared that the rifles could fall into the hands of terrorists in Iran, but “gave no proof to back up their concerns.” …and to quote Oberstleutnant Rudolf Gollia “An authorization, granted last year, was necessary for the exportation of these arms, which are classified as war weapons.” He also stated he did not believe that there was any reason to fear that the arms would be obtained by terrorists.

In my opinion these Austrians have displayed a feign attempt to justify their position, but then again the Austrians always did try to convince the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler German.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oil profits are ok, but arms?

It was just fine for Uncle Dickey to do a few million of awl bidniss with Iran AND Iraq, but let the Austrians sell a few rifles, and they are the bad guys?
What about the estimated 600,000 tons of small arms and ammo we failed to secure during the invasion of Iraq because we decided to go with "the Army we have, not the Army we wished we had."
I don't suppose Evil Rummy has any responsibility for the casualties caused by those?
And don't forget who helped fund and train Osama when it was judged to be in our national interest..... the CIA.
Yeah, those Steyr guys just don't care about us do they?
It's not unusual for the great unwashed to get things exactly backwards.
Good! Low demand will keep Steyr prices low. Any good capitalist has gotta love that! More for me!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...and the F-15 Strike Eagles we sold to Saddam.
I guess I need an explanation of this, since besides the USAF only Israel and Saudi Arabia have F-15E type aircraft.

We never sold any combat aircraft to Saddam. The Iraqi Air Force consisted of Russian and French aircraft.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In addition to the operational Saudi (F-15S) and Israeli (F-15I) F-15E varients, the Rep of Korea Air Force will start operating the F-15K soon as the most recent and modern F-15E varient.
 

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Talyn said:
I guess I need an explanation of this, since besides the USAF only Israel and Saudi Arabia have F-15E type aircraft.

We never sold any combat aircraft to Saddam. The Iraqi Air Force consisted of Russian and French aircraft.
Honestly I'm not positive on the model, but we sold him a few F-15's, then when he jumped ship we stopped sending him parts. They didn't fly much after that. I'm not sure where they ended up, probably buried somewhere like that Mig-25 they uncovered last year.
 

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While researching the M9 I came across this issue. Somewhere on line I read Steyr offered to stop the sale if the US did two things. 1. Objected to Steyr doing business with Iran, and more importantly, 2. Made US markets more accessiable to Steyr.


Matches
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Once upon a time.....

I was in the aerospace bidniss. I can assure you that we never sold F-15's to anyone except the Evil Saudi Princes an cetainly not Sadaam, who had Mirages....
 

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I distinctly remember the news segment. It was a Nightline, Dateline, or 60 minutes thing. Of course now, a brief internet search brings up nothing on the matter. So until I come up with a valid source, I'll just have to say I may have been mistaken.
 

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I'm always skeptical of the major media, hell the minor ones too. I give a little credit to the fact that I saw the segment pre-9/11. So it wasn't part of the post 9/11 media blitz.

I'll just have to look into it some more. I think we're all aware that our allies one day may be our enemies the next, and not all deals are above the table.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I remember when......

The Iranians were our "allies" and we wsold them the Tomcat and the Phoenix missile. We were smart to retain the maintenance and logistical equipment within our grasp, otherwise we might have had a much worse outcome to the hostage thing...... I don't think we are nearly as smart now.....
 

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I suppose it's entirely possible that I was talking about those Iranian F-14's, it's been awhile and my memory is not getting any better.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
WP,

As TJ and I have indicated the only nations to "ever" operate the F-15 in it's various varients are the USA, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and soon South Korea. Moreover, the USA never sold "any" combat aircraft to Saddam's Iraq.

Regards,

Talyn
 
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