Thursday, 26 May 2016
Leading former diplomats, lawmakers call on president to beware of Iran business.
A group of former leading diplomats and lawmakers today highlighted the grave risks of doing business with Iran to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö ahead of Monday’s meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a delegation of Iranian business leaders.
“This charm offensive cannot hide the fact that Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, matched only by its deplorable human rights record,” saidSenator Joseph I. Lieberman, Chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, CEO of UANI. “While President Niinistö recently condemned ‘all forms of terrorism,’ Iran’s foreign minister obviously disagrees, having mourned the recent loss of Hezbollah’s senior military commander and arch-terrorist, Mustafa Badreddine.”
Since 2013, the European Union, to which Finland is a member, has designated the military wing of Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Iran helped found and organize Hezbollah and has provided critical support to the terrorist group ever since. Hezbollah’s leaders, in turn, pledge their loyalty to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Led by a group of former leading diplomats and lawmakers, UANI is in the midst of a global education campaign focused on the corporate risks of doing business with Iran, warning hundreds of international companies that are contemplating Tehran as a new investment opportunity.
UANI has already warned the Finnish company Cargotec, a crane-maker with a lamentable history in Iran, and has reached out to other Finnish companies including Nokia, Kone, and Outotec.
“Cargotec’s cranes have become a symbol of the Iranian regime’s repressive policies,” a recent UANI letter to the company reads, noting that there are two documented instances where Cargotec-tied cranes have been used for public executions. As a major U.S. defense contractor with more than $1 billion in sales to the American military, Cargotec has also been warned by UANI that it “will be thrust to the forefront in a public debate about the propriety of corporate business in Iran.”
As part of its campaign to highlight the dangers of business with the Iranian regime, UANI has identified a matrix of 10 key risk categories businesses and sovereign states face should they pursue deals with Tehran.