UANI Calls on Rio Tinto to End Its Business with the Iranian Government

Date : 10/21/2010 @ 12:02PM
Source : Business Wire

UANI Calls on Rio Tinto to End Its Business with the Iranian Government

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) today called on Rio Tinto and Rossing to sever ties with the Iranian government. Rio Tinto currently owns a majority stake in the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia, while the Iran Foreign Investment Company (IFIC) owns a 15% stake in the same mine. The IFIC is wholly owned by the Iranian government.

IFIC’s involvement in Rossing is a direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Rio Tinto’s involvement with the Iranian government through the Rossing mine may be subject to legal action by relevant U.S. authorities. Such association also directly jeopardizes Rio Tinto’s eligibility to receive contracts from the U.S. government.

In a letter to Jan du Plessis, the Chairman of the Rio Tinto Group, UANI President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:

This letter is to inform the Rio Tinto Group (“Rio Tinto”) that your majority ownership of the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia appears to be a violation of U.S. law.

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United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) calls upon Rio Tinto and Rossing to sever ties with any entity directly or indirectly representing the Iranian government… Profits from the Rossing uranium mine are channeled directly to the Iranian government, emboldening and financially empowering its pursuit of an illegal nuclear weapons program, as well as fostering the regime’s ability to oppress the Iranian people and support terrorist groups in the region. Iranian government personnel also have access to the facility, from which they can acquire valuable technical knowledge to advance the regime’s nuclear weapons program.

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Through the Iran Foreign Investment Company (IFIC), Iran currently owns a 15 percent stake in the Rossing uranium mine located in Namibia. In August 2010, the U.S. Department of Treasury placed IFIC on the Iranian Transactions Regulation list.

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More broadly, UANI calls upon Rio Tinto to clarify Iran’s role in the Rossing uranium mine and any other business associations it has in or with Iran… UANI is concerned that Rio Tinto has made no mention of Iran’s holdings in the Rossing uranium mine in these filings.

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It is time for Rio Tinto and Rossing to recognize this threat as well and follow the lead of other responsible companies and stop putting short-term profits ahead of Iran’s clear threat to global security.

Please let us hear from you by November 2, 2010 as to whether or not you will take action to end Rio Tinto’s and Rossing’s business with Iran.

Click here to read the full text of the letter to Rio Tinto.

Click here to call on Rio Tinto to end its dealings with Iran.

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