Published January 17, 2012
| Fox News Latino
JLO from the block and her FIAT endorsement are once again causing controversy. And it sure isn’t pretty.
This time, a foreign policy advocacy group dedicated to prevent the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran, “United Against Nuclear Iran” (UANI) is urging Jennifer Lopez to end her deal with FIAT because they claim the Italian car company continues to do business with Iran.
“We’ve contacted FIAT several times about their business in Iran,” Nathan Carleton, UANI’s Communications Director told FOX News Latino.
“Giving the high profile endorsement contract that Ms. Lopez has with FIAT we’ve decided to contact her and seek her help in pressuring FIAT to end their business in Iran.”
Carleton says that the campaign against FIAT began around March of last year. After not hearing back, despite the “hundreds of people [who]have written to FIAT,” UANI wrote Lopez a letter describing the repercussions of her endorsement deal.
“In our letter we made her aware of the work FIAT does in Iran including the trucks that they’ve even sold to the regime in Iran that have been used to hang Iranian citizens and transport missiles around the country,” said Carleton.
“Given that business that FIAT does in Iran she should speak out against FIAT or end her endorsement,” he added.
In the letter, the foreign policy activist group expresses to Lopez that her endorsement with FIAT is supporting the development of “an illegal nuclear weapons program, financing and sponsoring terrorist groups including al-Qaeda, [that]has killed American and NATO soldiers and is recognized as one of the world's leading human rights violators.”
Neither Lopez or FIAT’s reps got back to FOX News Latino when contacted for comment.
According to a report from The New York Times report on companies which profited from business in Iran over the last decade, FIAT began manufacturing their four-door sedan in 2004, "under a licensing agreement with Pars Industrial Development Foundation."
Their spokesman Richard Gadeselli told the publication that over 2000 vehicles have been manufactured to date.
UANI is giving JLO until Wednesday to respond. If not they plan to escalate the pressure.
“She should respond, Carleton said. “If she doesn’t we will continue to highlight her involvement with FIAT.”
“We think her fans will appreciate such a prominent person take a stand against these human rights violations that FIAT is contributing to,” he added.
“It would be nice to see an entertainer who doesn’t just say whoever gives me money I will take it, but actually has standards for who she is endorsing.”
Founded in 2008 by several former American diplomats, including the late US Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke, the group is sustained by donations from supporters.
“U.S. car makers are not allowed to do business in Iran,” Carleton said. “The problem is when some of these companies like FIAT do business in Iran enabling the regime to stay in power.
This is not the first tiff involving JLO and the FIAT endorsement deal. In November, Bronx muralists TATS Crue threatened to sue Fiat.
The graffiti artists said they were enraged when they saw their "I Love the Bronx" mural in Lopez's car commercial, without their permission.
After discussions, the artists and reached a settlement with the automaker and are planning to work with them after decided to give them a car to paint and then auction off to a charity of their choice.