NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Thursday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauded both Maserati and Lamborghini for ending their business activities in Iran. UANI will also now list Maserati’s parent company, Fiat, as having fully pulled out of Iran.
Last October, UANI, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and Iran180 held a press conference in front of Maserati’s Manhattan showroom, and called on both companies to put an end to their import agreements with Iranian entities and close any dealerships or showrooms in Iran.
Following that event, UANI and the Public Advocate’s office entered into discussions with both Lamborghini and Maserati. In those discussions, Lamborghini stated that it and its subsidiaries have put an end to “any interest, negotiations or established relationships regarding operations of any type in Iran.”
Separately, Maserati and Fiat executives pledged that Maserati has “ended [its] discussions with a potential vehicle importer and distributor” in Iran, the Arta Group. Maserati stated that it had, at the request of UANI and the Public Advocate, “threatened legal action” against that group to stop using its name.
Maserati also stated that it has “successfully worked with Facebook to disable an Arta Group site which falsely suggested a Maserati presence in Iran.”
Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:
We are satisfied with the pledges we have received from both Lamborghini and Maserati, and we applaud both for their responsible action. Given Maserati’s commitment, we are now able to list Fiat as having fully ended its business in Iran. We are pleased to bring our Fiat campaign to a successful end.
This campaign proved once again that when a company is forced to choose between the Iranian market and the U.S. market, it will leave Iran. We will continue to work with the Public Advocate, to pressure more and more businesses to pull out of Iran and continue isolating the Iranian regime.
Said de Blasio:
This is one more step in the right direction in a crucial campaign to hit the Iranian regime at its economic core. Maserati and Lamborghini have done the right thing in pulling their business from Iran – and I am pleased we can remove them from Iranwatchlist.com. This is also a strong message to New Yorkers and Americans: we as consumers can help fight against a nuclear Iran, and I plan to continue this fight relentlessly, with as many allies as we can assemble.
Said Iran180 Executive Director, Chris DeVito:
We are pleased that Maserati has taken proactive steps to ensure that its vehicles, and its brand, are no longer appearing in car showrooms in Tehran. While we applaud this step forward, it's important that we don't lose sight of the fact that several large automobile manufacturers continue to conduct business in the country. We will continue to work with the Public Advocate and United Against Nuclear Iran until every major international auto maker realizes that doing business that benefits the Iranian regime is a dead end.
UANI also ran a public campaign in 2012 regarding entertainer Jennifer Lopez's endorsements of Fiat, and produced an online video, “J.Lo's ‘My World’ Fiat Commercial: Parody,” that generated more than 60,000 YouTube hits.
In May 2012, Fiat announced that it would end certain business in Iran, including the sale of Iveco trucks that have been used by the Iranian military. UANI applauded Fiat, but called on it to take additional action, specifically regarding reports of a Maserati showroom in Tehran.
Maserati, Lamborghini, and Fiat join Hyundai, Porsche, and Kia in pulling out of Iran in the past year. In May 2012, Ambassador Wallace testified about Iran's automotive industry before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
UANI has developed model legislation, the DRIVE Act, to require auto manufacturers to choose between American taxpayers and the regime. The DRIVE Act mandates automakers to certify they are not engaged in any business in Iran, or the implementation of any agreement with Iranian entities in order to be eligible for U.S. government contracts or financial assistance.