Now that the city has given Nissan a $1 billion contract to manufacture New York’s “Taxi of Tomorrow,” public advocate and likely 2013 mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has launched an offensive against the automaker for doing business with Iran. Mr. de Blasio sent out a statement and a string of Tweets today demanding the car company stop selling its wares to the Iranian regime.
“You cannot do business with the people of New York City with one hand, and prop up the dangerous regime in Tehran with the other,” Mr. de Blasio said in his statement. “For our billion dollars, taxpayers and taxi riders deserve a guarantee that Nissan will stop selling its vehicles to Iran.”
Nissan is one of the companies on Mr. de Blasio’s “Iran Watch List,” which highlights 12 automakers that do business with the Iranian regime. According to the watch list, which was launched in partnership with the advocacy groups Iran180 and United Against Nuclear Iran, Nissan has produced more than 7,500 cars in Iran through a partnership with local manufacturer Pars Khodro.
In addition to his statement and the watch list, Mr. de Blasio started a “Tweet-a-thon” this afternoon to put pressure on Nissan to end operations in Iran.
“Do you want the #taxiofIran to be the face of NYC?” he wrote.
As of this writing Nissan has not responded to request for comment on this story.