Porsche is the latest international automaker that retries its business out of Iran, as a response to two U.S.-based advocacy groups.
In 2010 United Against a Nuclear Iran and Iran Watch List began a campaign after discovering the Iranian auto industry, the 13th-largest in the world, is dominated by members of the Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“We have to send a message to that regime that no longer can it be business as usual until they renounce their nuclear weapons program and stop sponsoring terrorism around the world,” said former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace, who heads United Against a Nuclear Iran.
International firms who are operating in Iran have to face economic sanctions and political pressure from advocacy groups rallying against the country’s nuclear efforts and current government. In spite of economic sanctions, Iran’s auto industry has grown to be the largest in the Middle East, building more than 1.6 million vehicles in 2011.
Nissan and Peugeot seem to be the only companies that do not want to leave Iran entirely. When asked about this issue Nissan declared that the company doesn’t sell cars to Iran but that local manufacturer Pars Khodro is permitted, by license, to sell certain Nissan model names in the country.
“Nissan appears to be the vehicle of choice of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who often rides in an armored Nissan SUV,” said New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.