Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UANI Calls on Lufthansa, All Other Airlines, to End Iran Business Due to IRGC Control of Airports


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2013
Contact: Nathan Carleton, press@uani.com 
Phone: (212) 554-3296



UANI Calls on Lufthansa, All Other Airlines, to End Iran Business Due to IRGC Control of Airports

New York, NY - On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its Airports Campaign, and called on Lufthansa Airlines and all other carriers to cease operations in Iran.

Lufthansa, which is the flag-carrier of Germany and Europe's largest airline, maintains regular flights and cargo services to Iran, where airports are controlled by the blacklisted Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC's control of transportation hubs is essential to achieving its illicit and deadly aims.

Lufthansa even operates its own cargo terminal at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport. At the same time, the airline has received $55 million in U.S. government contracts since 2000.

Other airlines have taken responsible action to cease operations in Iran, including AirAsia, British Midland International, British Airways, Air France-KLM, and Austrian Airlines. UANI applauds these decisions, and calls on Lufthansa and all others to follow suit.

Iranian regime officials frequently use commercial airlines to travel to international conferences and business meetings. Were Lufthansa and the remaining outliers to cease their Iran operations, the regime would be severely isolated and ultimately forced to choose between having a nuclear weapon, or having the ability to travel to other nations.

In a letter sent to Lufthansa CEO, Dr. Christoph Franz, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:

            ... By a variety of methods, including through its connections to the Ministry of Transportation and Housing, the IRGC has exerted its authority and control over Iran's airports. ... The IRGC leverages its control over the airports for financial gain and to fund its illicit activities.

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            Unfortunately, despite the fact that the IRGC is clearly in control of the airports, Lufthansa continues to have a significant presence in Iran, providing both regular passenger flights as well as cargo services to Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport. Lufthansa also operates its own Lufthansa Cargo terminal sited at IKA Terminal One. As you know, all airport users are subject to various fees for using the airport facilities, pertaining to landing, passenger service, parking, terminal facilities, security and other services. In this case, Lufthansa is paying such fees directly to the IRGC.

            In addition, in November 2009 Lufthansa Cargo was investigated for its role in transporting nuclear material from Russia to Iran, via Germany. Subsequently, in February 2010, customs officials acting on behalf of prosecutors searched the Frankfurt offices of Lufthansa Cargo, "examining the alleged role in transporting nuclear-related supplies through Europe by workers of the three airlines" - Lufthansa, Emirates and AirBridge Cargo.

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            UANI finds it disturbing that Lufthansa is helping to support IRGC-controlled entities while at the same time benefiting from $55 million in U.S. government contracts since 2000. Similarly, as Germany's national flag carrier, it is surprising that Lufthansa continues to do business in Iran.

UANI has requested a response from Lufthansa by January 21, 2013.

Click here to read UANI's full letter to Lufthansa.
Click here to send a message to Lufthansa.
Click here to learn more about UANI's Airports Campaign.


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United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran should concern every American and be unacceptable to the community of nations. Since 1979 the Iranian regime, most recently under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's leadership, has demonstrated increasingly threatening behavior and rhetoric toward the US and the West. Iran continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in their attempts to monitor its nuclear activities. A number of Arab states have warned that Iran's development of nuclear weapons poses a threat to Middle East stability and could provoke a regional nuclear arms race. In short, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is a danger to world peace.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.


The Objectives of United Against a Nuclear Iran
  1. Inform the public about the nature of the Iranian regime, including its desire and intent to possess nuclear weapons, as well as Iran's role as a state sponsor of global terrorism, and a major violator of human rights at home and abroad;
  2. Heighten awareness nationally and internationally about the danger that a nuclear armed Iran poses to the region and the world;
  3. Mobilize public support, utilize media outreach, and persuade our elected leaders to voice a robust and united American opposition to a nuclear Iran;
  4. Lay the groundwork for effective US policies in coordination with European and other allies;
  5. Persuade the regime in Tehran to desist from its quest for nuclear weapons, while striving not to punish the Iranian people, and;
  6. Promote efforts that focus on vigorous national and international, social, economic, political and diplomatic measures.
UANI is led by an advisory board of outstanding national figures representing all sectors of our country.



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