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UANI Calls on Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek to Disclose Customers and Partners That Are Members of the Iranian RegimeFri, 08/24/2012 - 15:55 | by uaniadmin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Calls on Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek to Disclose Customers and Partners That Are Members of the Iranian Regime
New York, NY - On Friday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Swatch CEO Nick Hayek to identify Swatch's business partners in Iran that are members of the Iranian regime and/or Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
This week, Mr. Hayek continued his implausible defense of Swatch and Omega's business activities with the Iranian regime by responding to UANI in an August 22 letter. Mr. Hayek chose not to respond to UANI's most recent questions and evidence, but instead asked UANI to reveal its "sources of funding and how these funds are used."
UANI is willing to provide that information to Mr. Hayek, in exchange for the the names, titles, occupations, and ownership interests of every Omega and Swatch customer, agent, representative and business partner in Iran from the last 10 years. This information would be extremely helpful in verifying Mr. Hayek's past statement to UANI that Swatch's customers "are people - not regimes."
UANI is again calling on Omega and the Swatch Group to stop selling its luxury goods to Iranian regime elites. Swatch Group luxury brands Longines, Blancpain, Breguet, Glashutte Original, Jaquet Droz and Rado are also active in Iran.
In a letter sent to Mr. Hayek today, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:
... In regards to your query about UANI's sources of funding and how these funds are used, as you should now be aware, the Iranian regime is led by a brutal and repressive elite, which frequently engages in acts of terrorism, repression and murder to silence dissent and criticism. Unfortunately, UANI and other effective charities working in opposition to repressive regimes worldwide cannot therefore always disclose the identities of their supporters without exposing them and their families to the risk of retaliation from these same regimes.
What should be absolutely clear however, is that as a non-profit advocacy group, UANI's motives are fully transparent. UANI and its supporters recognize the powerful role that private sector companies can play in advancing goals we assume Swatch and Omega share -- namely, keeping a nuclear weapon out of the hands of a regime that commits heinous acts of terrorism worldwide (most recently in Bulgaria), murders U.S. and NATO troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, calls for the annihilation of a sovereign UN member state, demonizes other religions, and brutalizes its own people. There are countless concerned citizens in the U.S., EU and the rest of the world that share this goal. This is why so many companies have joined UANI and ended their business ties in Iran. Is Swatch not similarly disturbed by the heinous acts of this brutal regime? Does Omega not also empathize with the innocent civilians in Bulgaria and the U.S. and NATO troops that have been murdered at the direction of the regime elite and IRGC? If so, we hope that Swatch and Omega will help strengthen this growing international coalition.
Nevertheless, UANI would be pleased to discuss an accommodation with Swatch in which UANI provides full transparency of its sources of funding (barring instances where it will expose supporters to retaliation). In exchange, Swatch would assist UANI in determining the exact number of Swatch's Iranian elite and IRGC clientele and business partners in Iran by providing the name, title, occupation and ownership interests of every Omega and Swatch customer, agent, representative and business partner in Iran from the last 10 years. This information would be extremely helpful in verifying the statement in Swatch's prior correspondence that Swatch's "customers are people - not regimes."
In Swatch's previous letter to UANI dated August 17, you stated that UANI is "totally misinformed about Swatch Group." For the sake of clarity, UANI believes that Omega and Swatch are servicing corrupt Iranian regime elites and IRGC clientele, who are in a position to purchase luxury goods like Omega jewelry timepieces precisely because of their corrupt control of the country and its economy. If UANI is indeed misinformed about the foregoing, please provide UANI with the relevant information on Swatch and Omega's clientele in Iran at your earliest convenience. ...
Last week, UANI launched its Luxury Goods Campaign by calling on Omega, the "Official Timekeeper" of the 2012 Olympic Games, and its parent company Swatch to end their presence in Iran. Omega is active in the Iranian luxury goods market, with ten authorized retailers in Tehran that regularly service regime elites. Omega and others supply the regime with high-end consumer products at a time when the majority of Iranians languish under a mismanaged and floundering economy.
This month, Ambassador Wallace appeared on the Fox News special "Persian Bling," and discussed the Iranian regime's taste for high-end goods, and its control of the luxury market.
"The IRGC and the Iranian elites have for many years purchased and sought the finest of western goods," Ambassador Wallace told Fox News. "And unfortunately over the years, because of petro dollars, the elites have had the ability to purchase these goods."
Click here to read UANI's full August 24 response letter to Omega and Swatch.
Click here to read UANI's August 21 response letter to Omega and Swatch.
Click here to read UANI's August 10 letter to Omega and Swatch.
Click here to send a message to Omega and Swatch.
Click here to watch Ambassador Wallace appear on the Fox News special "Persian Bling."