The US can do more to pressure auto companies to sever ties with Iran

Shockingly, many of these companies even receive American tax dollars through lucrative contracts with the U.S. government. In the case of Nissan, it was awarded New York City’s $1 billion “Taxi of Tomorrow” contract above two companies that were not doing business in Iran. Americans have a choice in the cars we drive, and we can use the power of our pocketbooks to force Nissan and others out of Iran.

We are advocates of new legislation that would force auto manufacturers to choose between American taxpayers and the regime. 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.

By ending this business that is fueling the heart of Iran’s economy and propping up the regime, we can amp up the pressure on Iran just as the regime continues to move forward with its nuclear program. Ultimately, we want to make the mullahs choose between having a nuclear weapon and having a functioning economy.

For that to happen, car companies must be forced to choose themselves: do business with the U.S. government or do business with the Iranian regime. Faced with that choice, we believe automakers will take the responsible action, and give America’s consumers less to think about when choosing their next car.

Tim Griffin is a U.S. Congressman from Arkansas. Ambassador Mark D. Wallace is CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran. He served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for U.N. Management and Reform.