US activists pressure Renault-Nissan to leave Iran

Filed on April 5, 2012

WASHINGTON A US activist group on Wednesday urged French automaker Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan to pull their business out of Iran because of its suspected program to develop nuclear weapons.

In an open letter to Carlos Ghosn, the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s chief executive officer, the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) said, “Renault’s business dealings in Iran directly support 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.”

While other industry groups left Iran to avoid supporting the current regime, Renault has doubled its production in Iran from about 50,000 vehicles in 2010 to 93,578 in 2011, according to UANI.

The group’s letter was signed by former US ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace, who also is president of UANI.

The UANI letter said it was “disturbing” that Nissan was getting a contract valued at about $1 billion to manufacture a new fleet of New York City taxis while the automaker continues to do business in Iran.

“New York taxpayer dollars should not benefit a corporation, like Nissan, that partners with a regime that is the world’s number one state sponsor of terror and has formed an alliance with al-Qaeda,” UANI said.

Last week, UANI confronted another French automaker, PSA Peugeot, about its business dealings with Iran.

The activist group said General Motors’ investment in PSA Peugeot Citroen under a new cooperation agreement should be investigated by Congress to see whether it violates US sanctions on Iran, because of Peugeot’s strong market position in the country.

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