Two U.S.-based advocacy groups, The Iran Watch List and United Against a Nuclear Iran, launched a campaign against the Tehran regime in Iran when they found that the Iranian auto industry, the 13th largest in the world, is overrun by both members of the Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran’s auto sector produced 1.6 million vehicles last year, making it the largest Middle Eastern car producer. It’s two largest automakers, Iran Khodro Group and the Saipa Group, are subsidiaries of Iranian Development and Renovation Organization, the government body involved in the nuclear and missile programs. Almost half of The Bahman Group, Iran’s third largest car company, is owned by the Revolutionary Guard.
“We have to send a message to that regime that no longer can it be business as usual until they renounce their nuclear weapons program and stop sponsoring terrorism around the world,” Mark Wallace, president of United Against a Nuclear Iran and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said.
Wallace said the auto sector not only serves as a “massive source of revenue” for Iran’s corrupt regime, but the industry also offers access to foreign technologies and products.
Global automakers with business relationships in Iran include Nissan, Fiat, Volvo and Peugeot. Porsche had sold a reported $17 million worth of cars through its dealership in Iran’s capital in the past few months alone.
Now that Porsche has withdrawn from the Iranian market, Mark Wallace is pressuring Nissan and Peugeot to leave Iran entirely. “Nissan appears to be the vehicle of choice of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who often rides in an armored Nissan SUV,” Wallace said.
Nissan corporate communications responded, saying “Nissan does not sell cars in Iran. Local manufacturer Pars Khodro is permitted, by license, to sell certain Nissan model names in the country. This is a limited-scale business relationship which follows all U.S. and other foreign export control regulations.”
[Source: Fox News]