Hyundai Ends Business in Iran Says Anti Nuke Weapons Group

The anti-nuclear weapons group UANI has forced another multinational corporation, Hyundai, to stop doing at least some  business in Iran because of the Obama Administration’s sanctions against the Middle Eastern state.

“We can announce that Hyundai has ended its business in Iran. We applaud Hyundai for ending its business in Iran. Our extensive discussions with Hyundai are confidential,” a UANI spokesperson told AutoInformed.com. Hyundai had no immediate comment about the UANI disclosure.

In a letter to Mr. Chung Mong-Koo, Chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, UANI President, former U.S. Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote: “UANI strongly encourages Hyundai to follow the lead of other responsible companies like Kia Motor Co. and Toyota and cease not only all exports to Iran, but also company investments in Iran, particularly those that facilitate the ability of the regime in Tehran to pursue policies that threaten global security.”

Hyundai companies including Hyundai HYSCO, Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Oil Bank, and Hyundai Rotem all had business dealings in Iran, according to UANI.  Hyundai Rotem, where Hyundai owns a majority share, manufactures railcars and defense-related products.

Hyundai also sells vehicles through its exclusive distributor Assan Motors and has collaborated with local Iranian producers such as the Kerman Motor Company, the Rayen Vehicle Manufacturing Co., and the Iran Khodro Diesel Co. to produce different types of Hyundai vehicles and key components in Iran.

Last week, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and Iran180 with New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio launched a new website, IranWatchList.com and a corresponding consumer action campaign to pressure companies that do business in Iran. Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross founded UANI in 2008.

The campaign’s first targets are 12 global automakers that continue to sell vehicles in Iran – and UANI says to Iran’s military – despite the latest round of economic sanctions from the United States and the European Union.

In the view of some, this is a perfect example of the hypocritically bad behavior of global corporations supporting terrorism and repression abroad in the pursuit of profits against the policies of their home governments, whose democratic laws financially protect them and provide for the well being their major stockholders and executives.

The 12 automakers displayed in the Watch List’s “Virtual Showroom” are Fiat, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Suzuki, Toyota and Volvo. Combined, they sell more than 650,000 vehicles per year in the country, making it the second-largest sector of Iran’s economy, according to UANI.  With the exception of Fiat controlled Chrysler, General Motors and Ford are supporting U.S. foreign policy.

UANI also said that automakers such as Mazda that receive federal government contracts should certify with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that it is not engaged in business in Iran, or engaged in the implementation of any agreement with Iranian entities.

A letter to Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi from UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace just released said, in part, “By collaborating with the Bahman Group, Mazda is supporting the IRGC and its ability to pursue weapons of mass destruction and sponsor terrorist acts around the globe. In 2010, a Mazda spokesman claimed Mazda was unaware that Bahman is linked to the IRGC. Mazda can no longer hide behind this veil of ignorance. It is time for Mazda to end its relationship with the Bahman Group and pull out of Iran.”

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About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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