At a press conference in front of Maserati’s Manhattan showroom Monday Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran, joined New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Iran180 in calling on Maserati and Lamborghini to end their business in Iran.
Ambassador Wallace was quoted as saying, “Porsche, Hyundai, and now Kia, [have pulled] out of Iran. … [For] Maserati to end its business in Iran, [would send] a message directly to the regime elites. They must choose between a functioning economy and a nuclear weapon.”
Much of the pressure put on the car industry has been a result of campaigns led by UANI. In May, Ambassador Wallace testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Iran’s car industry.
Iran180 Executive Director Chris DeVito announced the addition of Maserati and Lamborghini to the Iran Watch List , given that the two have entered into business agreements in Iran and have refused to renounce their Iranian ties. And in the case of Maserati, which is owned by Fiat–touted the opening of a new dealership in Tehran.
UANI spokesperson Nathan Carleton told The Algemeiner that continued campaigns such as this one are meant to not only punish the business, but to alert the consumer as well. “When an American is looking for a Maserati we don’t think they have any idea that the same car is being driven around by the Mullahs in Iran who bought it with oil money. We hope to educate the consumer, to give them a choice. It’s a choice what brand of car they buy and if we make them aware of the fact that these cars are affiliated with [Iran’s] activities hopefully they’ll make a different choice.”
A Maserati Iran Facebook page has 15,440 ‘likes’ at the time of publication.
So far Fiat, which owns Maserati, and Volkswagen Group, which owns Lamborghini, have not responded to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.