NEW YORK — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Iran180 and United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) today called on Maserati and Lamborghini to pull back from their recent expansion in Iran. At a press conference in front of a Maserati showroom, de Blasio announced he had added the carmakers to www.IranWatchList.com after they signed import agreements, refused to renounce their Iranian ties, and–in the case of Maserati–touted the opening of a new dealership in Tehran. The expansion of luxury car companies in Iran undercuts sanctions intended to apply new economic pressure and halt Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons.
IranWatchList.com is a joint project by Public Advocate de Blasio, Iran180 and UANI that mobilizes consumers to pressure companies caught doing business with the Iranian regime.
“No luxury company wants to jeopardize its brand name, but that’s exactly what will happen if Maserati and Lamborghini continue to skirt sanctions. We will make sure U.S. consumers–who make up half of these automakers’ worldwide sales–know that they are propping up Iran’s nuclear program with every purchase,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
“With auto production in Iran down 66% this month compared to one year ago, and 42% for the whole year, the Iranian regime is starting to feel significant economic pressure. Any automaker still active in Iran needs to leave immediately and stop providing the regime with a lifeline during this critical time,” said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “If more companies leave Iran and effectively crash its automotive sector, the regime will be forced to choose between having a nuclear weapon or having a functioning economy.”
“At a time when the Iranian regime poses as grave a danger as ever to international peace and stability, that Maserati, Lamborghini and their parent companies have decided to buck international opinion and sell cars in that country is truly disturbing. The only acceptable Maserati or Lamborghini dealerships in Iran are closed dealerships,” said Chris DeVito, Executive Director of Iran180.
“It is shameful and unconscionable for any company to undermine sanctions against Iran by doing business with them,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind. “Iran aims to develop nuclear weapons at all costs. Any manufacturers who continue to do business with Iran bring this terrorist state that much closer to their goal; they are, quite literally, aiding and abetting the enemy.”
The auto sector is Iran’s second-largest industry after the oil and gas, but it is feeling the bite of stricter sanctions and consumer campaigns. Since launching in March, IranWatchList.com has received notice from four car companies–Fiat, Volvo, Hyundai and Porsche–that have ended sales and agreements with Iran. Eleven companies remain on the list.
Consumers can use the Watch List to directly pressure companies though social media, including Facebook and Twitter.Â Join the campaign at www.IranWatchList.com.