The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Email:,,Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder:,,Jodie Evans, national media coordinator, (310) 621-5635

CODEPINK Leaders Announce Plans for Investment in Iranian Wind Energy Company Hope to Defy Sanctions and Build Peaceful Relation


To defy crippling U.S. sanctions on Iran
and build peaceful bridges between the countries, CODEPINK Women for
Peace will announce plans this weekend to launch a new company that
will invest in an Iranian wind energy company, allowing Americans to
show support for peace and sustainability in Iran.

The company, called Winds of Change, will sell shares for $5 each.
The shares will give investors an opportunity to support the Saba Niroo
Wind Company, based in Tehran, and the campaign to end sanctions. Saba
Niroo designs, develops and manufactures medium and large wind
turbines, with a commitment to furthering the development of
pollution-free energy to improve the health of our environment.

WHAT: CODEPINK to lay out plans to invest in Iranian wind energy; "Let's talk!" campaign with Obama
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 12 to Sunday, Dec. 14

WHERE: United for Peace and Justice National Assembly, Wyndham
O'Hare Hotel - near Chicago O'Hare Airport, 6810 North Mannheim Road,
Rosemont, IL

The U.S. Government has only not opposed Iran's nuclear program,
but it has also stymied Iran's attempt to develop other energy
alternatives. Recent U.S. pressure on the the Danish wind company
Vestas has stopped Vestas from providing Saba Niroo with critical
parts, halting production.

"It's ironic that the West is so vehemently opposed to Iran's
efforts to develop nuclear energy, but it is sabotaging our efforts to
develop clean energy sources like wind," said Nader Niktabe, Sara
Niroo's managing director.

By supporting wind energy in Iran, investors will not only aid the
environment but improve the political climate by breaking down trade
barriers between the United States and Iran.

"Under present U.S.
law, companies that invest in Iran are subject to a $1 million fine,"
said Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder. "We're challenging those
unproductive restrictions and pushing the Obama administration to lift
sanctions and establish peaceful relations with Iran."

Benjamin will present the initial elements of the plan this weekend
in Chicago to the fourth annual assembly of the nation's leading peace
and justice coalition, United for Peace and Justice. At the Assembly,
delegates from the UFPJ's 1,400 member groups - as well as from those
who have not yet joined UFPJ - will come together and map out effective
plans to fight two wars and economic disaster under the administration
of President-elect Obama.

Benjamin and other CODEPINK women will also present a "Let's talk!"
initiative, a plan to gather a broad spectrum of peace, justice and
progressive groups together and invite President-elect Obama
to meet with them to discuss promises he made during his campaign,
question his Cabinet choices, and ask how he plans to be an agent for

Benjamin, co-founder Jodie Evans and (retired) Col. Ann Wright were
inspired to invest in Saba Niroo during their recent citizen diplomacy
trip to Iran as citizen diplomats, meeting with Iranian officials and
people to create human connections and foster understanding between the
two countries. For photos of the trip, click here and listen to Benjamin describe the trip on Democracy Now! here.

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

(818) 275-7232