UANI Calls on Austria's Voestalpine to Clarify Stance on Business in Iran

  UANI Calls on Austria's Voestalpine to Clarify Stance on Business in Iran  Steel Conglomerate Tells UANI It Did Not Participate in Iran Trade Delegation,    But is Silent About Current Iran Business and Appears to Have Removed or                           Changed Relevant Webpages  Business Wire  NEW YORK -- March 26, 2014  Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Austrian steel conglomerate Voestalpine AG to clarify the state of its current business in Iran, as well as its policy regarding Iran business.  This month, UANI questioned Voestalpine about its business in Iran, as well as reports that it was part of an Austrian trade delegation that went to Tehran in December. In subsequent discussions with UANI, Voestalpine stated that “neither Voestalpine nor any of its managers, employees, or representatives participated in this or any other trade delegation to Iran.”  Additionally, Voestalpine stated that it and “all its group companies” have “at all times adhered to all applicable UN, US and EU sanctions against Iran,” and “will continue to do so.”  UANI accepts Voestalpine’s assurance that it was not part of any trade delegation to Iran. UANI is, however, calling on Voestalpine to go beyond merely stating that it does not violate sanctions, and disclose, clarify, and swear off business in Iran.  UANI is particularly concerned that Voestalpine appears to have this month deleted references to Iran on some of its webpages, and entirely removed other webpages that included information on Iran distributors.  The Voestalpine business units and subsidiaries in question include Böhler Edelstahl, BöhlerPROFIL, Uddeholm, Associated Swedish Steels AB (ASSAB), and Buderus Edelstahl, which had previously listed distributors in Iran on their respective websites, but no longer do.  In a letter to Voestalpine Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Eder, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:  … UANI appreciates your clarification that contrary to reports Voestalpine was not a member of the Austrian trade delegation that visited Tehran in December 2013.  Notwithstanding this clarification, UANI is disappointed that Voestalpine’s letter is silent as to UANI’s specific concerns and requests for information regarding the status of any ongoing Iran business operations of Voestalpine in or with Iran. Specifically, in our March 3, 2014 letter, UANI expressed its concern that several Voestalpine business units and subsidiaries, namely Böhler Edelstahl, BöhlerPROFIL, Uddeholm, Associated Swedish Steels AB (ASSAB), Buderus Edelstahl, and Voestalpine Böhler Welding, all listed distributors in Iran on their respective websites. UANI also expressed its concern that Voestalpine could be providing Iran goods and services that have applications in sensitive sectors including Iran’s sanctioned oil and gas industry.  Clearly your letter fails to respond to these legitimate concerns. Moreover, it appears that Voestalpine has either wholly removed webpages detailing its Iran business activities or deleted all references to Iran in those webpages. ...  Voestalpine maintains a significant U.S. presence, and is set for an April 2014 groundbreaking of a $740 million iron ore processing plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, touted as the company's "largest foreign investment to date."  UANI's Trade Delegation Campaign tracks Austrian and French companies that are exploring the Iranian market following the implementation of the Geneva interim agreement. Notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, there remain severe reputational, financial and legal risks associated with Iran business.  Click here to read UANI’s full March 20 letter to Voestalpine. Click here to read UANI's March 3 letter to Voestalpine. Click here to send a message to Voestalpine. Click here to learn more about UANI's Austria Trade Delegation Campaign.  Contact:  United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296 press@uani.com  
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