NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is calling on all firms reportedly participating in the first Europe-Iran Forum, including Italian industrial conglomerate and U.S. defense contractor Finmeccanica, to fully disclose the nature and extent of any Iran business activities. UANI is also calling for clarification of the purpose of these firms’ participation in the forum, if not to capitalize on “commercial opportunities” in Iran. UANI previously applauded Finmeccanica for committing to no new Iran business at this time.
The Europe-Iran Forum is scheduled to be held in London on October 15-16. The presence of European businesses at the Europe-Iran Forum directly contravenes the efforts of the international community to maintain economic pressure on the Iranian regime. It also indicates such companies' apparent indifference to President Obama's pledge to "come down ... like a ton of bricks" on foreign firms expanding their Iran business.
In a letter to Finmeccanica CEO Mauro Moretti, UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:
According to its official website, the purpose of the Europe-Iran Forum is to provide participants with the “unique opportunity to debate and network with over 200 senior business executives from across sectors, as well as policy makers from Iran and Europe, on the opportunities and challenges represented by Iran's valuable and largely untapped marketplace.” Furthermore, the website describes the Forum as “a momentous commercial opportunity…” UANI is alarmed to see that one of those due to speak at the forum, seemingly primed to take advantage of this “momentous commercial opportunity,” is FATA Chairman, Ignacio Moncada. Mr. Moncada is set to appear alongside … MTN, a controversial South African telecoms group widely reported to have provided goods and services that aided the Iranian regime in quashing Iranian democratic opposition.
In addition, Finmeccanica’s previous claims refuting the veracity of comments attributed to Mr. Moncada no longer appear credible. As you may know, Mr. Moncada was reported to have stated that FATA “is keen to participate in aluminium and power plant projects in Iran, and called for the setting up of working groups to set the stage for cooperation in that area.” In response to UANI’s expressed concern about these comments, your representative asserted that since “the words attributed to Mr. Moncada by TV Press (sic) are not in quotes [they] cannot therefore be considered as an official statement.” … [I]n light of Mr. Moncada’s active participation in a forum designed to facilitate European commercial participation in the Iranian marketplace this explanation now appears disingenuous.