FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2011
Contact: Nathan Carleton, email@example.com
Phone: (212) 554-3296
Continuing GAO Campaign, UANI Calls on Italian Energy Company Edison to End Business in Iran
New York, NY - On Wednesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)called on Italian energy company Edison SpA ("Edison") to immediately cease its ongoing business activities in Iran.
This August, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report based on open sourcesdocumenting that Edison is one of 16 firms currently active in Iran's oil, gas, or petrochemical sectors. The GAO specifically highlighted Edison's business activities in Iran's energy sector as being inconsistent with the provisions of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 ("CISADA").
In a letter to Edison Chairman Giuliano Zuccoli, UANI President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:
Edison is involved in several ongoing projects in Iran that are of great concern to UANI. ... by its own account, Edison operates a Hydrocarbon Branch in Iran designed to expand Edison's hydrocarbon exploration activities in Iran. (Edison 2010 Annual Report). Of greater concern ... is Edison's continued involvement in the Dayyer Block and the $107 million exploration and development contract it signed with the National Iranian Oil Company ("NIOC") in 2008. ... Recent press reports indicate that Edison is seeking not only exploration but development partners as well. (Iranoilgas.com, "Edison seeking partners for Iran's Dayyer Block," 5/1/2010) If this is the case, Edison's involvement in Iran could extend easily into several decades.
An explicit goal of CISADA is to stop businesses from helping Iran develop its natural gas and petroleum sectors given the control exercised over those sectors by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ("IRGC"). The IRGC is a known terrorist entity in control of Iran's oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors. The IRGC is the Iranian government's branch in direct control of Iran's weapons of mass destruction programs, including its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The IRGC also 'bankrolls' groups in Iraq and Afghanistan that execute attacks against American and NATO servicemen. In fact, some 40 Italian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, which is being actively supported by Iran. By working with NIOC and the IRGC to develop Iran's oil sector, Edison is directly contributing to Iran's capabilities to sponsor terrorism, kill and maim NATO servicemen and develop its weapons of mass destruction programs.
It is time for Edison to follow the lead of other responsible global corporations, including Caterpillar, Terex, ThyssenKrupp and Kia Motors, and send a strong message to the leadership in Tehran that the international community no longer tolerates its reckless behavior.
As part of its GAO Campaign, UANI recently called on South Korean conglomerate Daelim, also identified by the GAO, to end its business in Iran.
UANI requests a reply from Edison by December 12, 2011 regarding its existing and future business plans in Iran.