UANI Launches Luxury Goods Campaign, Calls on Omega Watches to Exit Iranian Market

August 16, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296  

UANI Launches Luxury Goods Campaign, Calls on Omega Watches to Exit Iranian Market

New York, NY - On Thursday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its Luxury Goods campaign, and called on Swiss watchmaker Omega SA (Omega) to end its presence in Iran. Omega, the "Official Timekeeper" of the 2012 Olympic Games is active in the Iranian luxury goods market, listing ten authorized retailers in Tehran.

This month, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. 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."

UANI has launched a Luxury Goods database on its website, listing firms that supply the regime with a high-end consumer products including extravagant automobiles and lavish jewelry at a time when the majority of Iranians languish under a mismanaged and floundering economy.

UANI is calling on Omega to exit the Iranian market. In a letter to Omega SA President Stephen Urquhart and Swatch Group CEO & President Nick Hayek, Ambassador Wallace wrote:

As part of its "Luxury Goods Campaign," UANI is calling on luxury firms to stop supplying the elite of the Iranian regime with luxury commercial goods and products at a time when the majority of Iranians are languishing under a mismanaged and floundering economy brought about by the regime's misguided and dangerous pursuit of an illicit nuclear weapons program. Ultimately, UANI believes that the only responsible course of action for corporations like Omega and its parent company Swatch Group is to end all business activities in Iran.

The reasons for our concern regarding Omega's business activities in Iran are manifold. First, the Iranian regime relies on access to luxury goods to co-opt Iranian elites, and, in turn, maintain power. According to a Fox News analysis, "Iran's ultra-rich reportedly are a mixture of the well-connected. There are the people in the banking sector, as well as the technocrats with talent, valued and rewarded by the regime. Then there are the clergy close to the regime, because

not all clergy are in lock-step with the hardliners running the country. The elite is rounded out by a segment of the Revolutionary Guard corps who control trade and smuggling.


Omega and Swatch Group's ongoing business in Iran also subjects the Swatch Group to significant financial and reputational risk. Omega has dedicated substantial effort and resources to establish its brand worldwide, including by serving as the official timekeeper of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Such efforts will be wasted if Omega comes to be viewed as catering to the elite of a notoriously brutal regime that is endangering international peace and repressing the Iranian people.

Click here to read UANI's full letter to Omega.
Click here to send a message to Omega.
Click here to watch Ambassador Wallace appear on the Fox News special "Persian Bling."