UANI Responds to Russian Government’s Intimidation

Russian Government Spokeswoman Calls Out UANI and CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace for Efforts To Dissuade Russian Businesses From Engaging With Iran

(New York, N.Y.) – United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Chairman Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and Advisory Board Member Frances M. Townsend today released the following statement regarding the Russian government’s criticism of UANI and its CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace for the organization’s efforts to dissuade Russian businesses from engaging with Iran:

“The Russian government’s criticism of UANI is unacceptable. Since our founding more than 10 years ago, UANI has been dedicated to building a broad bi-partisan and international coalition dedicated to ensuring that Iran not become a nuclear weapons state. Russian criticism of our organization and our CEO, Ambassador Wallace, will not silence us or dampen our efforts and we will not waiver in that commitment unless and until Iran permanently and verifiably ends its nuclear ambitions. President Vladimir Putin and his government, as well as Russian businesses, should know that we will not be intimidated or pressured into submission.

“Russia’s outburst is a result of the fact that UANI has been effective at convincing the business community that investing in Iran is dangerous and unacceptably risky. We are making the case every day that doing business with the regime in Tehran funds terrorism and regional adventurism that threatens the stability of our allies and the lives of individuals from across the globe – including Russians.

“Instead of confronting UANI, President Putin should adopt our position given his stated public commitment to confronting terrorism. He should end his support for terror-sponsoring tyrants, dictators and despots from Iran to Syria to Venezuela and put his country on the right side of history. A nuclear Iran is a threat to everyone, everywhere – not just the U.S. And irresponsible and reckless businesses provide the resources needed by the regime to make this threat a reality. UANI will not be deterred by the usual Russian tactics of personal threats and intimidation.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova delivered the following remarks at her weekly press briefing in Moscow on Friday:

“We’ve taken note of the U.S. NGO attempts to intimidate Russian business cooperating with Iran. We think it is necessary to draw your attention to the cases of the intimidation of the American NGOs against Russian companies acting with Iran.  The NGO United Against Nuclear Iran. The actions of this marginal and biased structure go against the tasks of NGOs abroad. The – Mr. Wallace – threatens Russian companies who do legal business with Iran in various areas. We are not to blame for the fact that the U.S. position on Iran keeps changing all the time, just like the weather. Either we can cooperate, or we cannot. Either we should or should not. It is very hard to keep track of it. Businesses and people do not work like that. There is a mid-term and long-term planning. The notion of investments and projects and so on. Moreover so, they demand written reports on the nature of their relations with the Iranian partners and threaten them with sanctions for noncompliance with the U.S. law.  

We consider such actions of the American NGO unacceptable. They are deeply concerning and regrettable. Any attempts to intimidate Russian business are a continuation of the indecent acts by the current U.S. administration. In their anti-Iranian sentiment they’ve lost the sense of reality and ending up threatening the UN and even the IAEA. As well as its member states for their continued implementation of the UN 2231 Security Council resolution. The fact that such letters are sent by the NGOs and signed by the people who call themselves ambassador only degrade the state of the American diplomacy. They only show the inability of Washington to comply with its international obligations.

Let me remind you that the U.S. laws do not apply on the Russian territory and Russia is determined to continue the mutually beneficial cooperation with Iran in full volume, including cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy in spite of the pressure and illegal sanctions by Washington. We call on all other countries to get together and to make sure that Washington does not dictate the parameters of international economic and commercial cooperation and the technological cooperation. The United States is a part of the world community. They’re not above it. The Russian business must be guided by the rules of national laws, not by the statements and rules by the notorious organizations of political nature from abroad.” (“LIVE: Zakharova Holds MFA Weekly Briefing In Moscow,” Minute 1:09:22 – 1:12:40, Ruptly, 2/22/19)