By Julian Pecquet
Foreign carmakers with ties to Iran would not be eligible for U.S. government contracts or financial assistance under proposed legislation.
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) on Thursday called on Congress to prohibit foreign carmakers from doing business with Iran if they want to be eligible for U.S. government contracts or financial assistance.
The first-term lawmaker joined former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace, the CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran, in a Daily Caller op-ed urging foreign auto companies to break ties with Iran. American companies are already prohibited from doing business with the Islamic Republic.
"We are advocates of new legislation that would force auto manufacturers to choose between American taxpayers and the regime," they wrote. "It requires automakers to certify they are not engaged in any business in Iran in order to be eligible for U.S. government contracts or financial assistance. We ask others to join us."
The legislation is expected to be introduced in the next Congress. Since Wallace's group launched its "Iran Watch List" in March, four companies -- Fiat, Porsche, Hyundai and Kia -- have dropped ties to Iran, leaving nine European and Japanese automakers. The proposed bill would increase U.S. pressure on them to cease business relations with Iran.
"It is indeed impossible for an automaker to do responsible business in Iran, as having a presence there requires partnering with the government. Following an almost complete takeover by the regime, the industry is controlled by state-owned entities intent on securing foreign technology and funds," they wrote. "Given this situation, it is both dangerous and irresponsible for automakers to remain in Iran."