Tehran/Damascus, 23 June 2014 – The campaign group Naame Shaam today appealed to key European chambers of commerce to link a resumption of trade with Iran with the human rights situation in Iran and the Iranian regime’s role in Syria.
The group sent an open letter to business and trade associations in Germany, France, UK, the Netherlands, and Austria. Associations working on a European level and business groups in LinkedIn.com and Xing.com were also sent a copy.
Naame Shaam spokesperson Peyman Kaamvar said: “We asked key business and trade associations to inform their members that they must pressure the Iranian regime to improve the human rights situation in Iran and end its involvement in Syria.”
“We are not against improving the economic relations between Iran and any other country, but one cannot ignore the fact that a big part of economic gains will be wasted on enabling human rights abuses in Iran as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.”
“Business representatives must tell their governments that there should be no lifting of economic sanctions against Iran if the Iranian regime does not protect universal human rights in Iran and if it does not pull out all its foot soldiers from Sepah Pasdaran (Iran’s Revolutionary Guards) and Hezbollah Lebanon out of Syria. They should also demand that the Iranian regime ends all the financial and military support that it has been providing to Bashar al-Assad’s regime,” Kaamvar added.
Current nuclear talks between the P5+1 group of nations (US, EU, UK, France, China and Russia + Germany) and Iran must also be linked with the human rights situation in Iran and with the Iranian role in Syria, the group said.
European business people have been scrambling to make deals with the Iranian government and Iranian firms since the beginning of 2014, as hopes are raised that international economic sanctions against Iran would be lifted soon.
“Be assured that Naame Shaam will name and shame every businessperson, firm and trade association ignoring the plight of millions of Iranians and Syrians just for the sake of profit,” Kaamvar said.
For further questions:
Please contact Naame Shaam’s spokesperson Hossein Amir at [email protected]
Notes for editors: The full text of the open letter can be found at:
http://www.naameshaam.org/en/open-letter-to-european-business-and-trade-associations-about-making-deals-with-iran/  The organisations that received the open letter include:
- Deutsch-Iranische Handelskammer e.V., Hamburg, Germany, www.dihkev.de/en
- Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag, Berlin, Germany, http://www.dihk.de/en
- Nah- und Mittelostverein e.V. (NUMOV), Berlin, Germany, http://www.numov.org/en/
- EUROCHAMBRES – Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Brussels, Belgium, http://www.eurochambres.eu/
- The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce, London, UK, http://www.bicc.org.uk
- Iranian-Dutch Business Association, Zwanenburg, The Netherlands, http://www.idba.biz
- Chambre Franco-Iranienne de Commerce et d’Industrie, Tehran, Iran, http://cfici.org/home.php
- Chambres de Commerce et d’Industrie Françaises à l’International, Paris, France, http://www.uccife.org
- Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, Vienna, Austria, https://www.wko.at/Content.Node/Dienststellenkontaktseite.html?orgid=20850
- Aussenwirtschaft Austria, Wirtschaftskammer Österreich/Außenwirtschaftscenter Teheran, tehran, Iran, https://www.wko.at/Content.Node/service/aussenwirtschaft/ir/Information—Iran.html
Business groups online:
- France – Iran Trade & Investment Network (FITIN), http://www.linkedin.com/pub/france-iran-trade-investment-network-fitin/81/9b0/5a9
- IRAN Business Network, http://www.linkedin.com/groups/IRAN-Business-Network-80893?gid=80893&trk=vsrp_groups_cluster_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A99759651401882107926%2CVSRPtargetId%3A80893%2CVSRPcmpt%3Agroups_cluster
- Business Network, http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Iran-Europe-Business-Network-3985968/about
- IRAN – Import, Export, Trading, http://www.linkedin.com/groups/IRAN-Import-Export-Trading-4095326
- The Iranian Business Forum, https://www.xing.com/net/iran_business_forum
- Deutsch-Iranische Business Club, https://www.xing.com/net/dibc
- Tehran Business Community, https://www.xing.com/de/communities/groups/tehran-business-community-ef3d-1005152/about
- Iran Business Club, https://www.xing.com/de/communities/groups/iran-business-club-ef3d-1000940/about
On 8 April 2014, Naame Shaam activists held a peaceful protest outside a hotel in Berlin where the Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, along with other Iranian officials, were attending a conference with German business representatives. On 3 May 2014, Naame Shaam activists staged another peaceful protest at a conference center in Vienna, where the European Union’s foreign policy chief and the Iranian foreign minister were discussing Iran’s nuclear programme.
For more details, see:
Various Iranian and Hezbollah officials have stated that Bashar al-Assad’s regime would not survive long without the massive military and economic support it is receiving from the Iranian regime. All major battles in Syria are now being fought by Sepah Pasdaran and Hezbollah, rather than the Assad forces. Many checkpoints in Damascus are manned by Iraqi militias, and Sepah Pasdaran commanders have admitted being in charge of all major military operations against the Syrian rebels.
It is estimated that billions of Iranian Tomans, from the Iranian public purse, are being spent every month to keep al-Assad in power. The Iranian regime has been financing a big part of the economy in regime-controlled areas, pumping billions of dollars into the Syrian Central Bank so that the regime can pay salaries and import food and other goods for its supporters. The Syrian Pound would have long collapsed if it wasn’t for this financial support.
The Iranian regime has also been paying all the bills for the Russian arms shipped to al-Assad’s forces, as well as funding all the military operations of Sepah Pasdaran, Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias fighting in Syria.
The de facto ruler of regime-held areas in Syria is Gen. Soleimani, the chief of Sepah Qods, a division of Sepah Pasdaran (the Iranian Revolutionary Guards). Sepah Qods fully controls the armed forces of the Assad regime, as well as its policies and economy. Al-Assad has been dubbed as Gen Soleimani’s ‘deputy’.
Meanwhile, more and more ordinary Iranians are suffering economic hardship. Poverty and deprivation are on the rise in Iran. Naame Sham believes that Iran is bleeding in Syria, and that Syria has become Iran’s Vietnam.
For more details, see: