A pressure group called United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) wants French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen to end its ongoing business activities in Iran. UANI also is pressuring General Motors over what it says is the “impropriety of the Peugeot-GM partnership, and the possibility that it violates U.S. sanctions.”
If GM CEO Dan Akerson thought the Chevrolet Volt was a political football, one can only imagine what he thinks about Peugeot and the Iranian nuclear weapons controversy. GM wants to share logistics, platforms and purchasing with the French auto company, but is now being told it is “unacceptable for GM to enter into a partnership with a company that so openly deals with a regime that is responsible for the deaths of U.S. and NATO servicemen and threatens U.S. and global security.” Ah, the day in the life of a CEO has its absurdities.
UANI was founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross.
Peugeot does have a longtime business relationship with the Iran Khodro Group (IKCO), and is the leading brand produced and sold in Iran. UANI claims IKCO is controlled by the Iranian regime, and affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
In a 9 March 2012 letter to GM Chairman and CEO Daniel F. Akerson (misspelled as ‘Ackerson” in the letter and release), UANI President, Mark D. Wallace said, “By doing business directly with the Iranian regime, Peugeot directly supports the Iranian regime’s ability to develop its illegal nuclear weapons program, support its terrorist proxies and pursue a brutal campaign of repression against the Iranian people. GM’s partnership with Peugeot will also likely run afoul of U.S. law. UANI therefore calls on GM to use its influence and leverage to compel Peugeot to immediately end its business in Iran. In the event Peugeot does not comply, UANI calls on GM to end its partnership with Peugeot.”
That running afoul bit seems a long, long shot for a company like GM. A GM spokesperson reaffirmed what was said when the deal was announced, “both companies will manage the commercial aspects of their business independently, and will do so in compliance with all applicable laws.