The establishment of the European-Iranian Business Alliance, a group consisting of the respective Iranian Chambers of Commerce of France, Germany, and the UK, further underscores how the momentum of increasing sanctions pressure on Iran has been reversed during the course of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) interim agreement. Nonetheless, tremendous reputational and financial risk remains for multinational corporations seeking to do business in Iran. The White House must underscore its message that Iran is not open for business and those entities inappropriately seeking to re-enter the Iranian market are doing so at their own peril.
UANI calls on the European-Iranian Business Alliance and its constituent Chambers of Commerce to cease their Iran business activities and reveal their corporate members. If not, they run the risk of losing business opportunities in the U.S. and elsewhere. For example, members of the Franco-Iranian Chamber of Commerceincludes multi-billion dollar international corporations such as Alstom, CGG, Faurecia, Legrand, Renault, Schneider, SNF Floerger, and Total which have substantial business interests in the U.S. market.
As justification for its foundation, the European-Iranian Business Alliance claimed that U.S. companies are positioning themselves to be first back into Iran following the prospective lifting of sanctions. However, the latest statistics show that U.S. exports to Iran in 2014 were less than $200 million, a miniscule amount compared to the EU's rising exports to Iran, which increased 15% to $9.1 billion during the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year ending in March 2015.
UANI's Trade Delegation and Country Campaigns tracks German, Italian, French, Swiss, Austrian, and Czech companies that are exploring the Iranian market following the signing and implementation of the Geneva interim agreement. Notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, there remain severe reputational, financial and legal risks associated with Iran business.