NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauded Danish engineering firm FLSmidth for withdrawing from the Europe-Iran Forum. Last week, UANI called on FLSmidth and all entities reportedly participating in the Forum to fully disclose the nature and extent of any Iran business activities and explain the purpose of their participation. In a letter, FLSmidth CEO Thomas Schulz informed UANI that neither he nor any FLSmidth representative would participate in the Forum. Notably, Mr. Schulz’s decision comes in spite of assurances made by organizers that the Forum complies with U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations.
All reported participants should follow FLSmidth’s responsible lead and withdraw from the Forum, including Italian industrial conglomerate and U.S. defense contractor Finmeccanica and French think tank Ifri, to which UANI appealed last week. Today, UANI is extending this call to Swedish Volkswagen subsidiary Scania and British advertising conglomerate WPP.
The Europe-Iran Forum is scheduled to be held in London on October 15-16. Among those reportedly set to attend are several Iranian companies and consulting firms, the German-Iran Chamber of Commerce and 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. Certain Iranian companies to attend are of questionable provenance, including one sanctioned by the U.S. government and others associated with sanctioned entities.
In a letter to WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:
It is particularly troubling that a renowned representative from the Advertising and Public Relations sector would participate in such an event. As you know, the Iranian regime has little respect for the right to freedom of expression upon which your industry relies. In September 2014, Iran executed Mohsen Amir-Aslani for “heresy and insulting prophet Jonah.” It should also not come as a surprise that European Voice, the organizers of the Europe-Iran Forum, has reportedly barred the Wall Street Journal, which published a recent article highlighting many of the same concerns raised in this letter, from attending the event, “citing space limitations.”
In a letter to Volkswagen and Scania Chairman Martin Winterkorn and Scania President and CEO Martin Lundstedt, UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:
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 Scania’s Iran Country Manager, Ulf Hambeck. … We are also cognizant of Scania’s apparent existing Iran business activities. For example, Scania’s website lists three Scania dealers in Tehran, and Iran is cited under “Geographic Areas” within the most recent Scania Annual Report of 2013. Moreover, with reference to Iran (and Iraq), Scania Vice Chairman, Leif Östling, has stated that “The Scania brand is very strong in these countries.”
to read UANI's October 14 letter to WPP.
Click here to read UANI's October 14 letter to Scania.
Click here to read UANI's October 8 letter to FLSmidth.
Click here to read UANI's October 1 letter to Finmeccanica.
Click here to view UANI's Geneva Interim Agreement Tracker.