UANI, NYC Officials, Call on Nissan to Withdraw from Iran

April 3, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296

UANI, NYC Officials, Call on Nissan to Withdraw from Iran  
As Nissan Promotes Itself in NYC, UANI Highlights Nissan's Extensive Business in Iran
UANI, Public Advocate, Iran 180 to Participate in Press Conference Tomorrow

New York, NY - On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Nissan, the recipient of a $1 billion contract to manufacture NYC's "Taxi of Tomorrow," to immediately end its business in Iran and sever its ties to dangerous Iranian regime entities.

This week, UANI is joining New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in calling on Nissan to withdraw from Iran, where Nissan is currently active in partnership with Iranian entities controlled by the Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).

On Wednesday, April 4, at 12:00 noon, UANI will join Public Advocate de Blasio, New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and Iran180 at a press conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (655 West 34th Street, northwest corner of 11th Avenue, Manhattan) to highlight the activities of foreign auto manufacturers, including Nissan, in Iran.

In a letter to Nissan Chairman & CEO, Carlos Ghosn, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:

UANI also remains concerned that Nissan, through its extensive partnership with Pars Khodro and Saipa Group, as well as Renault's partnership with Iran Khodro, is doing business with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ("IRGC"), the brutal and corrupt apparatus in Iran that directs the regime's nuclear weapons program and terrorist activities across the globe. Saipa Group and Iran Khodro are subsidiaries of the Iranian Development and Renovation Organization ("IDRO"), an entity blacklisted by the U.S., UK and EU for its activities in a wide range of nuclear and military activities. Moreover, the IRGC commander, Rostam Ghasemi, currently holds a position on IDRO's Board of Directors. In August 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control ("OFAC") formally sanctioned Mr. Ghasemi.

Through its control of Saipa Group and other major manufacturers, the Iranian regime and the IRGC hold an effective and lucrative monopoly on the Iranian automotive manufacturing sector. By partnering with the Iranian regime, Nissan 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.

UANI and its supporters find Nissan's Iran business particularly disturbing in light of the fact that Nissan is expected to receive approximately USD 1 billion as part of New York City's "Taxi of Tomorrow" program. Under the terms of the contract, Nissan will manufacture up to 26,000 new vehicles for New York City over the next ten years. New York taxpayer dollars should not benefit a corporation that partners with a regime that is the world's number one state sponsor of terror and has formed an alliance with al-Qaeda.

Nissan can be part of this global solution by following the lead of other companies and ending its business activities in Iran. In so doing, Nissan can play an important role in denying funding to the IRGC as well as pressuring the regime in Tehran to change course from the dangerous path it is currently pursuing. ...

The Taxi of Tomorrow campaign was a competition designed to select New York City's exclusive taxi cab for a decade. In January 2011, UANI called on New York City to refuse to award the contract to companies that conduct business in Iran.

One of the three finalists, Turkey's Karsan Otomotiv ("Karsan"), demonstrated to UANI that it had withdrawn from Iran and committed to foregoing any business there until Iran fulfills its obligations to the international community related to its illegal nuclear program. The other finalist, Ford, does not do business in Iran, yet New York City chose to award the lucrative deal to Nissan.

Additionally, UANI has developed model legislation, The DRIVE Act, to force auto manufacturers to choose between American taxpayers and the regime. The DRIVE Act requires automakers to certify they are not engaged in any business in Iran, or engaged in the implementation of any agreement with Iranian entities in order to be eligible for U.S. government contracts or financial assistance.

Click here to read UANI's full letter to Nissan.
Click here to view UANI's 2011 newspaper ad about Nissan.