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Should Huawei Do Business in Iran?

8:00 AM Pressure group seeks vendor's withdrawal from Middle East market

November 2, 2011

2 Min Read
Should Huawei Do Business in Iran?

8:00 AM -- A pressure group called United Against Nuclear Iran has called on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to immediately end its business in Iran because, according to the group, the vendor has been "been providing the Iranian regime with cellular and electronic technology that it has used to conduct surveillance on its citizens, and track down human rights activists and dissidents."

In a press release published Monday, the "not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group" stated that if the Chinese vendor continues to do business in Iran, it will "push Huawei to be held accountable under U.S. sanctions law."

UANI is targeting Huawei following the publication of this Bloomberg article that highlighted Huawei's business in Iran, where it has reportedly supplied infrastructure that has replaced Nokia Networks (NSN) equipment.

NSN has come under a great deal of pressure during the past two years regarding the historical delivery of monitoring technology to service providers in Iran, and the vendor now publishes its ethics and human rights policy. (See Euronews: August 25, NSN Has a Bad Day and NSN Denies Selling DPI to Iran.)

Many ethical and moral questions arise regarding the ongoing business relationships between overseas suppliers and communications service providers in countries where human rights abuses are reported, not just Iran.

In this particular instance, though, a couple of questions spring to mind about Monday's press release: Why has Huawei been singled out by UANI when the Bloomberg article identified multiple vendors that are doing business and/or trying to win business in Iran? And in what way could Huawei be held accountable under U.S. sanctions law? (We have sent these questions to UANI.)

It has already been noted that Huawei should not be allowed to do business with the U.S. government because of its involvement in Iran. (See US Gets Worried About Huawei .)

All the relevant issues are open for discussion, and we encourage our readers to share their appropriate views on our message boards.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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