Not-for-profit advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has launched its Luxury Goods Campaign against luxury brands, calling on, amongst others, Omega to cease supplying its timepieces to retailers in Iran.
UANI’s chief executive Mark D. Wallace told Fox News: “The IRGC and the Iranian elites have for many years purchased and sought the finest of western goods.
“And unfortunately over the years, because of petrol dollars, the elites have had the ability to purchase these goods.”
UANI has launched a Luxury Goods database on its website listing firms that “supply” the regime with a high-end consumer products including cars, watches and jewellery.
The list has been put up at a time when UANI says the majority of Iranians “languish under a mismanaged and floundering economy”.
UANI has now said it will call on Omega to exit the Iranian market. It has sent a letter to Omega’s president Stephen Urquhart and Swatch Group’s chief executive and president Nick Hayek.
The letter included the following from UANI.
“As part of its Luxury Goods Campaign UANI is calling on luxury firms to stop supplying the elite of the Iranian regime with luxury commercial goods and products at a time when the majority of Iranians are languishing under a mismanaged and floundering economy brought about by the regime’s misguided and dangerous pursuit of an illicit nuclear weapons program.
“Ultimately, UANI believes that the only responsible course of action for corporations like Omega and its parent company Swatch Group is to end all business activities in Iran.
“The reasons for our concern regarding Omega’s business activities in Iran are manifold. First, the Iranian regime relies on access to luxury goods to co-opt Iranian elites, and, in turn, maintain power.”
UANI added that Omega’s efforts to be a global brand through activities such as being official timekeeper of the London 201 2 Olympic Games “will be wasted if the brand comes to be viewed as catering to the elite of a notoriously brutal regime that is endangering international peace and repressing the Iranian people”.
Why the UANi has targeted Omega specifically from the number of watch brands also operating in Iran is unclear. Other brands that sell in the country include Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breitling, Cartier, Girard-Perregaux, IWC, Richard Mille and Zenith, plus many more.