Tuesday, April 30, 2013

UANI Calls on GM to End Partnership with Peugeot, Given New Auto Figures Showing that Peugeot Cars are Still being Produced in Iran


April 30, 2013
Contact: Nathan Carleton, press@uani.com 
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Calls on GM to End Partnership with Peugeot, Given New Auto Figures Showing that Peugeot Cars are Still being Produced in Iran
New York, NY - On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement regarding newly-released Iranian auto figures, which show that tens of thousands of Peugeot-branded vehicles are still being produced in Iran, including 203,639 during the Persian calendar year that ended March 20, and 16,680 in the most recent month alone:

Once again, we see evidence that GM's partner Peugeot continues to do business in Iran, despite claims by GM and Peugeot that such business has been suspended. This is wholly unacceptable: last month, GM contacted UANI, and stated that "to our knowledge, Peugeot is not doing business in or with Iran."

Given industry data from Iran that shows otherwise, GM must stop the excuses and either take action to end Peugeot's business in Iran, or terminate the GM-Peugeot relationship. The GM-Peugeot partnership is especially troubling considering the taxpayer-funded $50 billion bailout of GM and the fact that the U.S. government still owns 241.7 million shares of GM stock.

Peugeot has not ended its business in Iran: thousands of its vehicles are still being produced there each month by Iranian state-controlled enterprises. GM, which is currently co-owned by U.S. taxpayers, cannot continue to financially partner with a company aligned with a regime that is illegally building nuclear weapons, sponsoring terrorists, and killing U.S. troops.

Last month, GM's Senior Vice President and General Counsel contacted UANI, and stated that:

The media statements we have made regarding Peugeot's business activities in Iran are based on what we have been told by Peugeot. Based on the information we have, we do not consider the statements to be inaccurate, as you have characterized them. We consider them to be an accurate characterization of the information we have received from Peugeot on the matter.

UANI has been calling on GM and Peugeot to leave Iran since launching the Auto Campaign in March 2012. Since then, UANI has announced the withdrawals of Hyundai, Fiat, Maserati, Lamborghini,Porsche, and Kia.

On June 13, 2012, the Detroit News printed an Op-Ed by Ambassador Wallace, "Why is U.S.-owned GM partnering with company that does business with Iran?," 

"The GM-Peugeot partnership seems to run afoul of U.S. sanctions," wrote Ambassador Wallace, "and it should be investigated." He called on GM and Peugeot "to take the responsible action of evaluating Peugeot's business in Iran, and putting a complete and final end to it."

Last year, Ambassador Wallace testified about Iran's automotive industry before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ambassador Wallace stated to Congress that: "Peugeot right now is a major actor in Iran, a major manufacturer inside Iran in direct partnership with the IRGC."

UANI has developed model legislation, the DRIVE Act, to force 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.

Click here to view the latest Iranian auto figures.
Click here to send a message to Peugeot and GM.
Click here to read Ambassador Wallace's Detroit News Op-Ed, "Why is U.S.-owned GM partnering with company that does business with Iran?"
Click here to read the Daily Caller Op-Ed by UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, and Congressman Tim Griffin: "The US can do more to pressure auto companies to sever ties with Iran."
Click here to read UANI's March 9, 2012 letter to GM.
Click here to visit UANI's Auto Campaign page.
Click here to read UANI's DRIVE Act legislation.


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.

American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran | 45 Rockefeller Plaza | New York | NY | 10111

IW News Brief: Boston and the Aftermath of Terror

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IW News Brief: Boston and the Aftermath of Terror

by David J. Rusin  •  Apr 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm
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Islamist Watch (IW) maintains an extensive archive of news items on nonviolent Islamism in the Western world. The complete collection can be found here; lists organized by topic are accessible on the right side of the IW homepage.
The IW database includes dozens of articles scrutinizing the many narratives, questions, and controversies to arise in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings carried out by two Muslim immigrants, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Several key developments are highlighted below:
Political correctness at the FBI
Following reports that Russian officials had contacted Washington about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's extremism years ago — warnings investigated and then set aside by the FBI — some suspect that political correctness paved the path to the attack. "The FBI can't talk about Islam and they can't talk about jihad," notes counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka, citing policies that de-emphasize radical Islam as a driver of violence. "I have zero doubt it affected their investigation of Tsarnaev," adds specialist Patrick Poole. Congressmen have voiced concerns as well.
The FBI also dropped the ball prior to the Fort Hood bloodbath. In that case, the Washington field office cautioned its San Diego counterpart that probing Nidal Hasan was a "politically sensitive" subject, and internal emails classified Hasan's messages to an al-Qaeda operative as mere "research." Furthermore, building on its record of Muslim outreach follies, the agency recently caved to Islamists on training and expunged "biased" materials. Its "Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training" declares that if someone belongs to a group that engages in both violence and "constitutionally protected activities," the FBI must not assume that the person is involved in the former. As columnist Matthew Vadum opines, "It's not that much of an exaggeration to say that the FBI could not have done anything about Tsarnaev unless he strapped on a suicide vest in front of them, called them 'infidels,' and detailed his abominable plans."
Left: The brutal reality of jihad was displayed on April 15, 2013. Right: The Islamic Society of Boston may appear friendly from the outside, but its history tells a very different tale.
Radicalism at the Islamic Society of Boston
As the authorities trace the Tsarnaev brothers' road to extremism, some point to the Cambridge mosque they attended. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance has stated that "if the story emerges that they were radicalized in America … the Islamic Society of Boston [ISB] and its leaders provide an interesting place to look." Indeed they do. The ISB's first president was Abdurahman Alamoudi, now imprisoned in connection with an assassination plot. Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi was listed among its trustees, and multiple convicted terrorists, including "Lady al-Qaeda" Aafia Siddiqui, prayed on the premises. Sheikh Ahmed Mansour, a reformist Muslim, recently reflected on a past visit: "Their writings and teachings were fanatical. … I left Egypt to escape the Muslim Brotherhood, but I had found it there."
In positive news, Governor Deval Patrick's office withdrew an invitation to Suhaib Webb, imam of the affiliated ISB Cultural Center (ISBCC) in Roxbury, to speak at an interfaith service on April 18. The center is managed by the Muslim American Society (MAS), which, according to prosecutors, "was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America." Another ISBCC imam once exhorted congregants to "grab on to the gun and the sword" in Siddiqui's defense. "Officials who change course when confronted with the facts need to be commended," the Clarion Project's Ryan Mauro explains. "Thank [the governor] by contacting his office here."
Rays of light in the media darkness
While many media outlets downplayed jihad, others were surprisingly candid: USA Today ran a detailed piece on the ISB's radicalism. The Islamist-friendly Bill O'Reilly blasted Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for denying Islam's role in terrorism. Bill Maher mocked Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, when he asserted that "it's not like people who are Muslim who do wacky things have a monopoly on it." Maher called the idea that all faiths are equal in terms of inspiring violence "liberal bulls—t," perhaps opening the eyes of viewers who reflexively discount criticism of Islam from the right.
Daniel Pipes sees the Boston bombings as "education by murder," noting that Westerners "learn best about Islamism when blood flows in the streets." This process is aided when the bloodshed encourages prominent media figures to overcome inhibitions and speak truthfully about jihad.
Left: Bill Maher asked Brian Levin whether a show about Islam similar to the raucous Book of Mormon could run on Broadway without violence. "Possibly so," he replied, convincing no one. Right: Ibrahim Hooper admits that revenge attacks against Muslims have been rare.
Post-terror backlash fails to materialize yet again
Amid the predictable hype about anti-Muslim backlash — which almost never occurs — the Associated Press relays this refreshingly frank tidbit: "Muslim civil rights leaders say the anti-Islam reaction has been more muted this time than after other attacks since Sept. 11. … Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations … said his organization has seen no uptick in reports of harassment, assaults, or damage to mosques since the April 15 bombings."
No surprise here: Muslims in the U.S. actually suffer hate crimes at a lower rate than blacks, Jews, or gays. Blogger Brendan O'Neill sums it up: "Time and again, left-leaning campaigners and observers respond to terror attacks in the West by panicking about the possibly racist response of Joe Public — and time and again, their fears prove ill-founded and Joe Public proves himself a more decent, tolerant person than they give him credit for. What this reveals is that liberal concern over Islamophobia, liberal fretting about anti-Muslim bigotry, is ironically driven by a bigotry of its own, by an deeply prejudiced view of everyday people as hateful and stupid."
* * *
For additional news and analysis, please visit the IW website.
Related Topics:  Censorship, Entertainment / Media, Free Speech, Government, Interfaith, Legal, Lobby Groups, Moderates, Mosques / Imams, Multiculturalism, Police / FBI, Prayers, Sexuality  |  David J. Rusin This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete and accurate information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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The Iranian Nuclear Impasse :: MEQ Reviews

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The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir

by Seyed Hossein Mousavian
Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2012. 597 pp. $25, paper.


Iran: The Nuclear Challenge
Edited by Robert Blackwill. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2012. 77+xii pp. $9.99, paper.

U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition
by Anthony Cordesman, Adam Mausner, and Aram Nerguizian
Washington D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2012. 937 pp. Free download.

Reviewed by Patrick Clawson
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2013, pp. 87-89
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Few issues in recent years have seen as intensive high-level, international negotiations as Iran's nuclear program. Unfortunately, the account by Mousavian, an Iranian policymaker and scholar, will probably become the definitive book about that effort. A more important work, but one unlikely to get as much attention, is from a team led by Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which examines in detail how Iran's nuclear program fits within the broader challenge to U.S. interests from the Islamic Republic.
Mousavian's account gains credibility from his previous position as spokesman for Iran's nuclear negotiating team as well as through the vigorous promotion of his views on U.S. television and at lectures in elite venues. His personal story is intriguing: An important official on Iran's Supreme National Security Council, he was, in effect, jailed for his opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and is now a fellow at Princeton, though clearly still deeply supportive of the Islamic Republic. But the reason his book will become the standard reference is not necessarily due to his pedigree: It is the care with which it was prepared, with 1,113 footnotes to all the right sources. On question after question, Mousavian recounts the facts in detail, providing the references to check up and follow further.
But for all that Mousavian gets the details right, he casts the nuclear impasse in a profoundly misleading way. The fundamental problem has always been that Iran has not lived up to its obligations under the international agreements to which it is a party. At its heart, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a trade-off: Countries have the right to dangerous nuclear technology if they accept the responsibility to be fully transparent about what they are doing. The irony is that had Iran, an NPT signatory, followed through on the requirements of the treaty, Washington may have been profoundly unhappy about Iran's nuclear progress but could have done little to mobilize international pressure. On this, as so many other issues, the Islamic Republic's leaders have systematically miscalculated where Iran's national interests lie. Their attitude, shared by Mousavian, is the profound arrogance of asserting rights but refusing responsibilities.
In Mousavian's account, Iran never did anything worse than miss some tactical opportunities. And in his telling, that only happened after he left the job. Mousavian makes a persuasive case that Iran was better served by his policy, which was to blow smoke in the West's eyes rather than to spit into them. The prolonged negotiations he describes persuaded Europe that Iran should be offered incentives and not penalized so as to entice it into further negotiations and temporary concessions. His team understood the importance of looking reasonable, whereas Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i's priority seems to be what the ayatollah called resistance to "global arrogance."[1]
In contrast to Iran's excellent track record, Mousavian presents the West—especially the United States—as continuously taking unreasonable positions and missing chances to improve relations. But not surprisingly, there is a telling omission: The George W. Bush administration is often castigated for spurning an alleged May 2003 Iranian "grand bargain" to open talks with Washington about all the issues separating the two sides. Mousavian makes no mention of it whatsoever.
While Mousavian recognizes that many issues besides the nuclear program separate Washington and Tehran, the Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) Iran: The Nuclear Challenge edited by Blackwill simply ignores that strategic context. While it could be argued that the CFR report is intentionally only about the nuclear issue, the obvious response is that Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities is not isolated from its other activities, nor are vital U.S. interests about Iran confined to its nuclear program: Most U.S. sanctions on Iran can be justified as reactions to its state support of terrorism, not just its nuclear program.
This narrow focus on Iran's nuclear program is all the more striking given the main theme in Blackwill's insightful concluding essay: Consider carefully and do not jump to conclusions. He warns against unanticipated consequences, artificial analogies, false certainty, and short-term thinking that ignores longer term repercussions. He suggests eleven pertinent questions to focus thinking about a potential preemptive attack, bringing great depth of knowledge to the subject. Regrettably, he hardly mentions how actions on the nuclear issue could affect broader U.S. interests regarding Iran. In particular, his essay is infused with the implicit view that the Islamic Republic is a given, not an unnatural system whose days may be numbered. If one concludes that the Islamic Republic will, at some point in time, disappear, then U.S. policy thinking ought to be much more about timing: Delaying the nuclear program becomes a potential route to successful resolution of the problems between the two states, depending on what nuclear policy a successor regime might pursue.
The six other authors in the CFR volume offer much insight about sanctions, negotiations, military options, regime change, the implications of a nuclear-armed Iran as well as what is known about the Iranian nuclear program. But their lens is so centered on the nuclear issue that everything else is essentially left out of the picture. For instance, Elliott Abrams' essay on regime change, while presenting a thoughtful evaluation of current U.S. programs and practical suggestions for alternatives, devotes exactly one sentence to the nonnuclear advantages for U.S. strategic interests were the Islamic Republic to fall. Surely the end of the mullahcracy would have vast repercussions on world Islamist movements and on the Middle East. To take one point that preoccupies U.S. Persian Gulf allies: Were Washington to form a close working relationship with a friendly Tehran, might that make relations with the gulf monarchies less important to U.S. administrations? Under those circumstances, Washington might choose to be more supportive of the forces calling for democratic reform in those countries, a prospect the ruling families find profoundly unsettling.
In comparison to the tight focus of the CFR volume, the great strength of U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition is that Cordesman, et al., capture the full character of U.S.-Iran relations. They demonstrate that the United States and Iran are in a low-level war, or in "strategic competition," a phrase often used in national security circles. That war has many fronts, which the authors cover in great (sometimes excessive) detail. Separate chapters, generally coauthored by Cordesman and one or more collaborators, cover the nature of the strategic competition in general, as well as sanctions and energy, the gulf military balance, and competition between Washington and Tehran in various parts of the world including Iraq, the Levant, Turkey, the Caucasus, "Af–Pak," Europe, Russia, China, Latin America, and Africa. The concluding chapter, on policy implications, stresses that the U.S. administrations must compete with the Iranians in a wide array of geographic arenas and with many policy instruments. That is, in effect, something Washington is now doing but not always with a conscious understanding of how all these disparate efforts should fit together.
Cordesman is led to the pessimistic conclusion that the mullahs' pursuit of nuclear weapons is part of a concerted strategy around which the entire military and national security strategy is built. Restrictions on Tehran's enrichment activities, he argues, are not likely to impede Iran's nuclear progress much because it has developed such a varied and robust set of nuclear weapons-related programs (including delivery options) that it could break down the remaining work into compartmentalized programs. Each is readily concealed and could be presented to a credulous international community as peaceful in intent. He concludes that if one studies the full range of strategic competition between Washington and Tehran, the current P5+1-Iran negotiations—even if fully successful—would make only a small difference in the mullahs' challenge to U.S. policymakers and not much of a difference to its nuclear pursuits.
Cordesman's message is not likely to have the resonance of Mousavian's. Too many in the West seem inclined to assume that Iran is being reasonable in the current nuclear impasse and that more understanding of the developing world is needed. Unfortunately, if history is any guide, few international problems can be solved through the greater display of empathy, especially toward rogue regimes.
Patrick Clawson is director for research at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
[1] Karim Sadjadpour, Reading Khamenei: The World View of Iran's Most Powerful Leader (Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2008), pp. 3, 23; Ali Khamene'i, speech, Tehran, Sept. 9, 1998.
Related Topics:  Iran  |  Patrick Clawson  |  Winter 2013 MEQ This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete and accurate information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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