Oriflame workers detained in Iran

Iranian authorities have closed the
Tehran operations of Oriflame Cosmetics and detained five workers, the Swedish
firm has said.

The reasons for the move were
disputed, with Tehran alleging fraud and Oriflame saying the authorities
disliked it employing women in certain roles.

Last week, Iran’s commerce and
culture ministries called the company illegal and blocked its local internet
site.

Oriflame said the move could be
because it employs women as sales consultants.

According to a statement on the
company’s website on Monday, “business conditions in Iran have deteriorated in
recent months”.

The statement continued: “The
authorities have now closed operations in Tehran. The authorities have also
detained three members of staff and two sales consultants without disclosed
reasons.

“Oriflame has not at present access
to detailed information relating to the background to, or effects of, the
current situation.”

In Tehran, state radio reported
that the company had violated tax regulations and custom law, and operated an
illegal marketing scheme.

An an Iranian newspaper, Kayhan,
accused the company of supporting opposition members in Iran.

Oriflame’s chief financial officer,
Gabriel Bennet, rejected the allegations.

“Of course this is not true. We are
running a business in Iran like anywhere else in the world, according to good
international code of conduct,” he said.

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