Trade Delegation Campaign: Italy
Many Italian companies have expressed interest in expanding or renewing their Iran business both before and after the implementation of the JCPOA.
On February 22, 2014, an Italian trade delegation led by the chairman of the Italy-Iran Chamber of Commerce, Rosario Alessandro, began a four-day mission in Iran. The delegation reportedly met with counterparts from Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines and the president of Iran’s investment organization, Saeed Nikzad Larijani, as well as officials at Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade.
Reflecting the significant role that Italy could play in alleviating Iran’s economic isolation, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said, “Italy has played the role of an important partner of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and has so far acted as the gateway to Iran’s interaction with Europe.” Consequently, U.S. officials visited Rome to warn the Italian government and businesses that Iran is still a “perilous” place for business.
Following the implementation of the JCPOA, there remain severe reputational, financial and legal risks associated with Iran business. In April 2016 UANI warned Italian companies Eni, Fiat, Finmeccanica and Danieli of enormous financial, legal, and reputational risks of Iran business ahead of the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s visit to Iran.
It should be clear to all responsible companies that Iran is not open for business. Accordingly, UANI is calling on Italian companies to cease their existing business activities and forgo new opportunities in Iran.
UANI Corporate Campaigns
Launched a campaign in 2014 calling on Italian steelmaking engineering firm Danieli to end its business in Iran. In February 2014, Danieli reportedly attended a conference for the steel industry held in Tehran and met with the director of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), a sanctioned entity. In June 2016 Danieli Group announced it signed agreements worth 5.7 billion euro approximately for the supply of machinery and plans to be installed in Iran.
In response to UANI's campaign, Italian automaker Fiat announced its subsidiaries Iveco, an Italian truckmaker, and CNH, an American construction equipment manufacturer, would end their business in Iran. While Iveco trucks had been used to transport ballistic missiles and hang dissidents, Fiat received loans from the U.S. government to gain ownership of Chrysler. The Fiat campaign concluded in January 2013 when UANI announced that Fiat luxury auto brand Maserati had ended all Iran business. In January 2017 UANI warned President Trump of Fiat Chrysler’s reported pursuit of re-entry into the Iranian market through a joint venture with Iran Khodro Group.
In response to UANI's campaign, Italian energy company Edison withdrew from Iran's energy sector, specifically its contract to explore Iran's Dayyer natural gas field. In 2011, the U.S. General Accountability Office listed Edison as one of sixteen foreign firms in potential violation of U.S. sanctions.