Bloomberg: Huntsman Corp., the world’s biggest maker of epoxy adhesives, said its foreign subsidiaries will discontinue sales in Iran due to concern over the government’s handling of protests of last year’s presidential election. By Bill Varner
Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — Huntsman Corp., the world’s biggest maker of epoxy adhesives, said its foreign subsidiaries will discontinue sales in Iran due to concern over the government’s handling of protests of last year’s presidential election.
“The small amount of business done there does not justify the reputational risk currently associated with doing business with entities located in Iran due to growing international concern over the policies of the current regime,” Huntsman said in a statement.
Huntsman, based in The Woodlands, Texas, said sales to entities located in Iran represented only a “minor fraction of one percent” of its worldwide sales. The company said sales to third parties in Iran “have been done in full compliance with U.S. law.”
Huntsman came under pressure last year from United Against Nuclear Iran to end all business in Iran, according to a spokeswoman for the New York-based advocacy group, Kimmie Lipscomb.
“This shows that the American people are concerned with a company’s decision to do business in Iran,” Lipscomb said in an interview.
“We learned that one of Huntsman’s subsidiaries was conducting business in Iran, selling polyurethane, which can be used in the development of solid rocket fuel,” she said. “We sent them a letter in November and they said they did not believe the polyurethane was being used for rocket fuel. We objected to them doing any business in Iran.”
Huntsman spokesman Russ Stolle said the company had been in contact with United Against Nuclear Iran. He declined to say whether the decision to halt business in Iran was spurred by the group’s pressure.
The company has indirect ties to President Barack Obama’s administration. The firm’s founder and chairman, Jon M. Huntsman Sr., is the father of the U.S. ambassador to China, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. The younger Huntsman was the Republican governor of Utah before being confirmed last year as ambassador.
Opposition movements in Iran have continued protests against the disputed June 12 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the face of crackdowns by security forces. The groups have encouraged further protests on Feb. 11, the 31st anniversary of the founding of the Shiite Muslim-led government. Ahmadinejad denies allegations by opponents that last year’s vote was rigged.
Anti-government demonstrations flared again last month in Tehran and other major cities, prompting further action by security forces. Authorities said some 1,000 people were arrested and at least eight people were killed.