UANI Calls on AB Volvo to End Business in Iran
On Monday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Sweden-based AB Volvo (Volvo) to end its ongoing and dangerous business in Iran.
Volvo subsidiaries Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks do extensive business in Iran, and are disturbingly partnered with the Iranian regime-controlled entity Saipa Diesel.
Volvo's subsidiaries produce automobiles in Iran, sell heavy construction and mining machinery there, and enable Iran's military to transport weapons and outfit naval vessels.
UANI has presented Volvo with photographic evidence of its trucks being used by the Iranian regime to transport missiles.
AB Volvo is a separate entity from the Volvo Car Corporation, which has certified that it does not do business in Iran.
In a letter sent to AB Volvo President and CEO Olof Persson, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:
Volvo subsidiaries Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks are partnered with the Iranian entity Saipa Diesel, a subsidiary of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (“IDRO”). As you may know, IDRO has been sanctioned by the U.S. and EU for its proliferation activities and ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”). Nevertheless, as part of its partnership with Volvo, Saipa Diesel manufactured some 2,366 Volvo FH-series and 632 Renault Midlum trucks in 2010 alone. In addition, Renault Truck's website details ongoing plans for Saipa Diesel to produce 1,800 Renault trucks annually.
UANI is also concerned that Volvo's business with IDRO-affiliated entities has resulted in the transfer of dual-use technologies to the Iranian regime. For example, the Volvo Trucks website, states that Volvo has “contributed significantly with investments in tools and equipment” to its Iranian partners.
Moreover, evidence of the regime's misuse of Volvo equipment and technology by Iranian military and security forces has been widely documented. The enclosed photograph of a Volvo FH12-420 transporting Iranian MIM-23 surface-to-air missiles during the 2011 Sacred Defense Parade is clear evidence of this phenomenon.
In addition, UANI is concerned by the fact that Volvo subsidiary Volvo Construction Equipment (“VCE”) has partnered with Parsian Pishro Sanat to provide heavy construction and mining machinery to Iran. UANI's concern is understandably heightened in light of Iran's ongoing attempts to evade monitoring of its nuclear activities by constructing heavily fortified and clandestine nuclear facilities such as the Fordow facility outside the city of Qom.
Furthermore, UANI is troubled by the business activities of Volvo subsidiary Volvo Penta in Iran. Volvo Penta produces a number of sensitive products for the marine propulsion industry, including gas turbines for naval vessels, and lists multiple offices and dealers in Iran. Volvo Penta's Iran business is particularly troubling considering the fact that IRGC naval forces have been reported to utilize vessels outfitted with Volvo Penta's marine diesel engines.
UANI launched its "Auto Campaign" in March 2012. This year, Hyundai, Porsche, and Fiat have ended business in Iran in response to UANI campaigns and Peugeot stated it has stopped shipments of auto parts. In May, Ambassador Wallace testified about Iran's automotive industry before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
UANI has developed model legislation, the DRIVE Act, to require auto manufacturers to choose between American taxpayers and the regime. The DRIVE Act requires automakers to certify they are not engaged in any business in Iran, or engaged in the implementation of any agreement with Iranian entities in order to be eligible for U.S. government contracts or financial assistance.
UANI has requested a reply from AB Volvo by December 17.
United Against Nuclear Iran
Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296