Reputational Risk

A company that seeks to monetize opportunities in a country notorious for sponsoring terrorism and violating fundamental human rights, including state-sponsored killings and torture of its own citizens, will inevitably corrode its reputation with consumers, trading partners, and the general public. Much of the international community has roundly condemned the regime’s brutal suppression of anti-regime demonstrations instigated by the death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini, a young Kurdish woman arrested for violating hijab rules and killed while in police custody. In December 2022, and for the first time in its history, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) removed the Islamic Republic of Iran from membership, for its brutal treatment of women.

The Iranian regime remains an international outlaw and force for instability. Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, aiding terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas to the tune of billions of dollars. Tehran and its proxies continue to spread instability in the Middle East from Iraq to Lebanon to Yemen and to Syria, where Iran remains a staunch supporter of the brutal Assad regime.  And the Iranian regime continues to violate the human rights of its own people. Immediately after signing the JCPOA, Iran test-fired ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and inscribed with the regime axiom, “Israel must be wiped out,” in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, proved that Iran’s future behavior would remain consonant with its historically bad conduct.

Despite predictions that the nuclear deal would “moderate” the regime, its behavior, whether at home or abroad, has only worsened in successive years. Companies blinded by the chance to turn a quick profit in Iran risk severe collateral damage to their brand, public standing, and corporate reputation.