Frankfurt: UANI Warns Conference of Dangers of Doing Business in Iran

In an article in Untied Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), on November 28, they warn the  Frankfurt Business Conference about the dangers of doing business with Iran.

UANI is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, and Middle East Expert Ambassador Dennis Ross. It seeks to heighten awareness of the danger the Iranian regime poses to the world.

So, as German business leaders and legal experts gather to discuss Iranian market entry strategy at a Frankfurt business conference, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) warns attendees of the serious legal, financial and ethical implications of doing business with the Iranian regime.

Marktchancen Iran (“Market Opportunities Iran”) is being held November 28-29 in Frankfurt, Germany. It aims to advise companies about the Iranian market.  

UANI’s advertisement in local newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, warns participants that the conference is encouraging relationships with a country whose “repeated calls for the destruction of Israel and […] policy of denying the Holocaust” were condemned in a resolution passed by the European Parliament recently. The advertisement also explains the financial, legal and business risks that come with being involved with Iran.

“The only way for German companies to avoid the risks inherent in the Iranian market is to abandon these business pursuits entirely,” said UANI Senior Advisor and former Director of the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany Dr. August Hanning. “The Iranian regime remains a bad actor in the global community, given its ongoing extensive support of terrorism and its high profile and deliberate promotion of Holocaust denial. German business leaders should not reward this noxious regime until substantial and permanent reforms are implemented.”

UANI’s business risk matrix outlines Iran’s dangerous business environment and includes the following:

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Front Company Risk: Companies entering Iran are faced with dealing with front companies operated by the IRGC, a terrorist organization sanctioned by the U.S., E.U., and international community. While doing business with the IRGC is illegal, foreign managers are unable to discern companies that are secretly operated, managed, and even owned by the IRGC.

Sanctions Risk: The relaxation of E.U. and U.S. sanctions did not end all sanctions imposed against Iran, and those relating to Iran’s sponsorship of international terrorism and human rights violations remain in effect despite the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The penalties for violating sanctions are extremely harmful to businesses, and with the upcoming political transition in the U.S., regulatory uncertainty looms larger than ever.

Reputational Risk: A company that seeks to monetize opportunities in a country notorious for denying the Holocaust, sponsoring terrorism, and violating fundamental human rights will inevitably corrode its reputation with consumers, trading partners, and the general public. Companies that shortsightedly choose to turn a quick profit by entering Iran risk collateral damage to their brand, public standing, and corporate reputation.