Controversy over Nissan's new taxis and Iran

April 4, 2012 3:06:01 PM PDT
On Tuesday, New York City finally unveiled its new taxi of tomorrow.

A day later, the complaints begin.

That's because the company that'll make these vans is Nissan, and Nissan also does business in Iran.

"You can do business with the people of the United States of America or you can do business with the government of Iran but you can't do both," said Bill DeBlasio, Public Advocate.

Wednesday, the public advocate and others blasted the mayor's decision to go with Nissan for all future taxis when they accuse Nissan of being cozy with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He refuses to back down on his country's nuclear program despite deep U.S. sanctions.

Wednesday afternoon Nissan responded saying it has no direct investment in Iran but everything is done through a local manufacturer.

The company says all this complies with U.S. law, but still the complaints continue.

"I tell Nissan to stop the shenanigans, stop the BS," NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said.

Lawmakers blasted Nissan saying of course the company's invested in Iran.

At their news conference they even brought photos of Ahmadinejad in a Nissan truck and another with him photoshopped into one of those new taxis.

"I tell Nissan you can't be a little bit pregnant! You can't do the, 'Oh we're not doing all that much'. That is ridiculous," Hikind said.

These lawmakers are now considering a boycott of Nissan if it doesn't get out of Iran.

They're also trying to force the city to back-track on its new taxi contract with Nissan, but it's doubtful that will happen.

The new taxis hit the road in New York City this fall.

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