Risky Business: U.S.-Based Hotels In Potential Violation Of U.S. Sanctions For Facilitating Sham Iran Election

(New York, N.Y.) — In the run up to the recent Iranian presidential election, the Iranian Interests Section of the Embassy of Pakistan released an advisory outlining 29 polling stations across the United States where Iranian citizens could cast absentee ballots. More than two-thirds of the locations that were rented for voting facilities are part of six hotel groups headquartered in the U.S., including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels, Best Western International, Choice Hotels International, and North Central Group Hotels.

The Iranian regime and countless Iranian entities and persons are under U.S. economic sanctions. Hotels facilitating polling centers in America without a U.S. government license would violate American sanctions laws.

“It is wrong and illegal for any business to have facilitated the Iranian regime’s sham ‘election,’” said United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “In providing fraudulent polling places for Tehran, the companies have risked exposure to violations of U.S. and international sanctions and aided the regime in installing a hard liner like Ebrahim Raisi.”

“Those businesses, the Department of Treasury, and the State Department should disclose if licenses were granted to the hotels for this purpose, and if so, why,” Wallace added. “Moreover, according to the State Department, Iranians were ‘denied their right to choose their own leaders in a free and fair election.’ There’s no good reason for the U.S. government to provide licenses for any company to play any role in this farce. If these companies acted without a license, they should be investigated and penalized for violating U.S. sanctions. We call on these companies to never again host a fraudulent Iranian polling place and to institute policies accordingly. No responsible business should engage in business with Iran.”

To read UANI’s resource Ebrahim Raisi: President of Iran, please click here.

To read UANI’s blog What We Learned From the 2021 Presidential Election in Iran, please click here.