FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Calls on Peugeot to End Iran Business, Calls on General Motors to End Partnership with Peugeot if Peugeot Fails to Withdraw from Iran
New York, NY - On Monday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen (Peugeot) to end its ongoing business activities in Iran. Separately, UANI contacted Peugeot's new U.S. partner: General Motors (GM), concerning the impropriety of the Peugeot-GM partnership, and the possibility that it violates U.S. sanctions.
Peugeot, through its longstanding partnership with the Iran Khodro Group (IKCO), is the leading foreign auto brand produced and sold in Iran. Peugeot has more expatriate employees working in Iran than any other western company. IKCO is controlled by the Iranian regime, and affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
In a March 9, 2012 letter to GM Chairman and CEO Daniel F. Ackerson, UANI President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:
By doing business directly with the Iranian regime, Peugeot directly supports the Iranian regime's ability to develop its illegal nuclear weapons program, support its terrorist proxies and pursue a brutal campaign of repression against the Iranian people. GM's partnership with Peugeot will also likely run afoul of U.S. law. UANI therefore calls on GM to use its influence and leverage to compel Peugeot to immediately end its business in Iran. In the event Peugeot does not comply, UANI calls on GM to end its partnership with Peugeot.
In light of the 2008-2009 taxpayer funded $50 billion bailout of GM and the U.S. Treasury Department's current 32% stake in GM, it is unacceptable for GM to enter into a partnership with a company that so openly deals with a regime that is responsible for the deaths of U.S. and NATO servicemen and threatens U.S. and global security.
The GM and Peugeot partnership may also run afoul of U.S. sanctions.... Since GM's alliance with Peugeot calls for GM and Peugeot to "share vehicle platforms, auto parts and create a global purchasing joint venture," GM could run afoul of Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions under the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITR).
In a separate letter to Philippe Varin, Chairman of Peugeot's Managing Board,also sent March 9, Ambassador Wallace wrote:
Through its control of IKCO, the Iranian regime and the IRGC hold an effective and lucrative monopoly on the Iranian automotive manufacturing sector. By partnering with the Iranian regime, Peugeot is supplying the technology and funds necessary for the IRGC to perpetuate this monopoly, continue its dominance over large swaths of the Iranian economy and fund its efforts to pursue weapons of mass destruction and sponsor terrorism around the globe.
It is incumbent on all of us, private citizens, governments and corporations alike, to take concrete steps to oppose this ongoing and dangerous threat. Peugeot's direct partnership with Iranian entities controlled by the IRGC is exposing Peugeot, its investors and other partners including GM, to serious and irrevocable reputational harm. It is time for Peugeot to end its business in Iran.
UANI has requested replies from Peugeot and GM by March 19, 2012.