Industrial contractor FL Smidth is also concerned about the situation, but has yet to experience any negative reaction. ‘Things could change very fast, but we have had no reaction from our customers,’ says Torben Seemann Hansen, vice-president for corporate communications. ‘We are very concerned, but as a private company there is nothing much we can do about it.’

Shipping giant Maersk has also yet to experience any problems. ‘We haven’t been affected,’ says vice-president Jette Clausen. ‘We have always identified ourselves as an international company.’

Engineering firm Haldor Topsoe declined to comment except to say that it was monitoring closely at the situation. Haldor has a number of contracts in Iran, and Tehran recently called for all state-owned and private sector local companies to cut trade ties with Copenhagen. Another engineering contractor, Ramboll, has also not faced any problems in the region so far, says a spokeswoman.

Copenhagen is understood to have made representations to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for it to enforce trade rules among its members. Under WTO regulations, members, which include most states in the region, are prohibited from discriminating against or embargoing goods or companies doing business inside their borders.