Last October, "United Against Nuclear Iran" (UANI) CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, along with NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Iran180 executive director Chris DeVito, held a press conference in front of Maserati’s Manhattan showroom.
The three men had stated that Maserati, along with Lamborghini, have been added to the Iran Watch List as they entered into import agreements with the country – something they deemed unacceptable due to the Iran's nuclear program. Maserati, in particular, was lashed because it had said it planned to open a dealership in Tehran.
“Porsche, Hyundai, and now Kia, have pulled out of Iran”, Wallace had said at the time. “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.”
UANI, a U.S.-based non-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization that has campaigned against several companies including Fiat, devised the DRIVE Act legislation requiring automakers seeking U.S. government contracts or financial help to certify they are not engaged in any business in Iran, or the implementation of any agreement with Iranian entities.
After talks between the interested parties, Lamborghini said it has ended “any interest, negotiations or established relationships regarding operations of any type in Iran”.
Maserati, on its behalf stated it has “ended discussions with a potential vehicle importer and distributor”, the Arta Group, and has threatened legal action against it if it won’t stop using its name.
As a result, UANI updated its Auto and Luxury Goods Campaign sites stating that the two brands, along with Maserati's parent company Fiat, have completely pulled out of Iran.
“We are satisfied with the pledges we have received from both Lamborghini and Maserati and we applaud both for their responsible action”, said Wallace.
De Blasio commented: “This is one more step in the right direction in a crucial campaign to hit the Iranian regime at its economic core… We as consumers can help fight against a nuclear Iran and I plan to continue this fight relentlessly with as many allies as we can assemble.”
We won’t get into the politics (pun definitely intended) of the issue but we guess the decision was a no-brainer for the two luxury brands once their executives weighed the volume of the U.S. market for their cars against that of a Iran.
By Andrew Tsaousis