NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is calling on attendees of the annual Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition (“Iran Oil Show”) held in Tehran from May 6 to May 9 to fully disclose the nature and extent of their Iran business activities.
According to Nematollahi Akbar, a spokesman for Iran's Oil Ministry, 600 foreign companies registered for the oil show, representing a 300% increase from the year before. This shift in foreign activity is corroborated by UANI research which has confirmed the attendance of Italian and German companies, among others. Iran’s oil and gas sector is the most heavily sanctioned sector of the Iranian economy. These sanctions remain in place for the duration of the Joint Plan of Action (“JPA”) interim agreement. The presence of European and Asian companies at the oil show directly contravenes the efforts of the international community to maintain economic pressure on the Iranian regime while also demonstrating disregard for President Obama’s pledge to “come down … like a ton of bricks” on foreign firms expanding their Iran business.
These foreign firms do not appear to be taking seriously the severe reputational, financial and legal risks associated with Iran business. One prime example of this is the French cable manufacturer Nexans, which openly announced its attendance at the Iran Oil Show.
In a letter to Nexans Chairman and CEO Frédéric Vincent, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:
On its website, Nexans has announced that it will have a booth at the Iran Oil Show “to present its global oil & gas cable solutions … Complete, reliable cable solutions and services at the core of onshore complex oil and gas projects.” The objective of the Iran Oil Show is to facilitate action that on its face appears to constitute illicit if not potentially sanctionable activity including activities related to the “exchange of commodities, services and technical data,” “promoting Iran’s products,” and “Boosting the status of Iran’s Oil Show in the region and the world.” Such activities work in direct contravention to efforts by the international community to isolate the Iranian energy sector in response to the regime’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. UANI is also concerned that Nexans appears to maintain an ongoing relationship with Iran via the Tehran-based companies Persian Meraat Co. and Noble Inc.
In view of the above, please clarify the current status of Nexans’ business activities in Iran and your intentions with respect to maintaining and expanding such business. … Please also provide us with a comprehensive summary of all Nexans activities and meetings held during the Iran Oil Show, including the names of all individuals and entities that Nexans and its representatives met with during the show. Please specifically confirm that Nexans did not meet with representatives of any sanctioned entity or Specially Designated National (“SDN”) and also describe what steps Nexans took to ensure that its representatives did not interact with such individuals or representatives. …
Furthermore, UANI is cognizant of Nexans’ significant U.S. business presence, including its multiple offices and subsidiaries across the U.S. On its U.S. website, Nexans also advertises its services to “A leading contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense” …Certainly, members of the U.S. Congress and the American public at-large will not look kindly on any business that attempts to conduct business with Iran while also enriching itself via U.S. markets and taxpayers dollars.
UANI research found that among others, the following Italian and German firms also publicly announced their intention to attend the Iran oil show:
- Italy: Bruno Prezessi, FCE Group, OMAL, Sitindustrie VALVOmetal, Tema Sistemi, VALVITALIA
- Germany: LEONI, LEWA, Rembe, STEULER KCH
According to Nematollahi Akbar, the spokesman for Iran's Oil Ministry, regional representatives from French energy giant Total and the German industrial conglomerate Siemens also exhibited at the oil show.