FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2017
UANI Warns Swedish Prime Minister of Iranian Human Rights Violations Ahead of Official State Visit
Swedish Business Delegation, Including The Volvo Group, Heads to Tehran
New York, NY - As Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven prepares to lead a delegation of business representatives to Iran on February 11-12, leaders of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) are releasing a full-page message in the prominent Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, cautioning the group about Iran's extensive human rights abuses.
UANI's ad notes the concerns of Sweden's Liberal Party leadership regarding Iran's human rights abuses, particularly its rate of domestic executions, one of the highest in the world. In 2015, Iran executed nearly 1,000 people, according to a UN Human Rights Council report. The ad also outlines numerous severe business risks, and is part of a broader global campaign by the nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization to educate business leaders worldwide about these and other dangers inherent in doing business with the Iranian regime.
"While Prime Minister Löfven invests time and effort into strengthening Sweden's relationship with Tehran, he must not ignore Iran's role as the leading state-sponsor of terrorism, nor the countless crimes committed against its own people," said UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. "Swedish businesses have previously severed ties with Iran due to its violations of international law. It is foolish to think anything has changed, especially in the wake of the Tehran's latest missile testing and ongoing aggression towards innocent civilians."
In 2013, UANI successfully pressured the Volvo Group to end its Iran business after photographic evidence appeared to show the regime using Volvo equipment and technology to transport Iranian missiles. Volvo reportedly resumed business in Iran in 2015.
"The continued aggressive, confrontational rhetoric and behavior emanating from Tehran should give Swedish leaders serious pause," said UANI Chairman and former U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman. "Iran poses a threat not only to its own people, but to the much larger international community. Prime Minister Löfven and Swedish business leaders would be wise not to rush to broker new deals that could be upended by new sanctions."
Prime Minister Löfven's efforts to boost economic ties with Tehran comes as Volvo Group, and its subsidiary Mack Trucks, are reportedly laying off hundreds of American workers across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Volvo and Mack have received more than $200 million in U.S. Federal Government contracts since 2000, 90 percent of which came from the U.S. Department of Defense.
UANI's education campaign targets hundreds of global companies, including Sweden's Volvo Group, ABB, Sandvick Materials Technology, Verisec AB, Pomegranate Investment, Cue Dee AB and Solbacken Associates. The full-page message to Swedish leaders is running in Dagens Nyheter on February 10.
To speak with UANI leadership or obtain a copy of the ad, please contact: [email protected].
UANI is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East Expert Ambassador Dennis Ross, that seeks to heighten awareness of the danger the Iranian regime poses to the world.