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Public Advocate to Automakers: No More Business with Iran

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Demonstrator posing as Iranian President Ahmadinejad threatening to lob a missile at his enemies. Photo Courtesy of Iran 180.New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has launched a campaign to put public pressure on companies worldwide to cease conducting business with the rogue nation of Iran, which sponsors terrorist groups in the Middle East and has openly threatened the wellbeing of Israel. Backed by the groups Iran180 and United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), the effort will utilize an interactive website – IranWatchList.com – to galvanize consumers to voice their displeasure with those companies currently engaging in such counterproductive activity. The campaign’s initial targets are twelve foreign automobile manufacturers that continue to sell vehicles in Iran, despite the economic sanctions that have been placed on that country. In fact, the Public Advocate noted, several of these companies even sell vehicles to Iran’s military. Many of these auto manufacturers will be exhibiting at the New York Auto Show beginning next week.

“No other city in the country is a greater target for terrorism than New York, and our safety depends on bringing every bit of pressure we can muster against Iran’s regime,” said Public Advocate de Blasio. “Every company we convince to take its business elsewhere turns up the heat and undermines Iran’s push to get nuclear weapons. None of these companies would ever choose the Iranian regime over the American consumer—that’s the choice we need to force on any company that does business in Iran.”

Chris DeVito, Executive Director of Iran180, called on city residents to actively take part in the new campaign. “We hope that all New Yorkers will use this tool to let companies know that doing business with a regime that abuses its own people, and ignores international opinion on its nuclear program, cannot continue,” DeVito stated.

“By overwhelming numbers, polls show that the American people understand the immediacy of the threat posed by Iran to the United States and its allies. But they do not know how to give practical expression to their concerns,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “This consumer action campaign launched by Public Advocate de Blasio will enable citizens and elected officials alike to educate and motivate companies to stop doing business with Iran until they truly end their nuclear weapons program and their state sponsorship of global terrorism.”

The twelve automakers displayed in the Iran Watch List website’s “Virtual Showroom” are Fiat, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Suzuki, Toyota and Volvo. All of these manufacturers combined sell more than 650,000 vehicles per year in the country, making it the second-largest sector of Iran’s economy. Although foreign governments have periodically increased sanctions, the automotive sector in Iran remains robust because of the investments made by these companies. Consumers have the capability to use the Watch List to directly pressure companies though social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

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