NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is calling on the German industrial firm Leoni to fully disclose the nature and extent of any Iran business activities in light of the company’s reported attendance at the annual Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition (“Iran Oil Show”) held in Tehran from May 6 to May 9. On Tuesday, UANI called on all firms in attendance at the Iran Oil Show to make such disclosures.
Iran’s oil and gas sector is the most heavily sanctioned sector of the Iranian economy and 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.
In a letter to Leoni CEO Klaus Probst, UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:
Iran hosted its 19th annual Iran Oil Show on May 6-9, 2014. On its website, Leoni announced that it would have a booth at the show. This follows Leoni’s previous attendance at the Iran Oil Show in 2010 … 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 Leoni appears to maintain a relationship with Iran via the Tehran-based company Tech. Control Industrial Consultants Co., as well as through its Iran contact Bijan Kavian.
In view of the above, please clarify the current status of Leoni’s business activities in Iran and your intentions with respect to maintaining and expanding such activities … Please also provide us with a comprehensive summary of all Leoni activities and meetings held during the Iran Oil Show, including the names of all individuals and entities that Leoni and its representatives met with during the show. Please specifically confirm that Leoni did not meet with representatives of any sanctioned entity or Specially Designated National (“SDN”) and also describe what steps Leoni took to ensure that its representatives did not interact with such individuals or representatives.
Furthermore, UANI is cognizant of Leoni’s significant U.S. business presence, including its multiple offices across the U.S. Leoni’s subsidiary, Leoni Fiber Optics Inc., has also benefited from U.S. federal government contracts … 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 - particularly in its most sanctioned sector - while also enriching itself through U.S. markets and taxpayers’ dollars.
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.