Washington, DC – Congressman Brad Sherman, the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, called for the enforcement of sanctions against a Chinese firm aiding Iran’s crackdown on democracy activists.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., recently signed a contract to install equipment for a system at Iran's largest mobile-phone operator that allows Iranian police to track people based on the locations of their mobile phones. The Journal also reported that the Chinese company has provided similar services to Iran's second-largest mobile-phone provider.
Congressman Sherman called for the State and Treasury Departments to sanction Huawei Technologies Co., which is likely violating sanctions under CISADA, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act.
“I call on the State and Treasury Departments to impose tough sanctions on Huawei Technologies, a Chinese company aiding Tehran’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy activists, dissidents, and Iranians exercising their human right to freedom of expression,” said Congressman Sherman.
Congressman Sherman and Sen. Charles Schumer authored provisions in CISADA, which was signed into law by President Obama in July 2010, that restrict the flow of dissent-monitoring technologies to Iran. Foreign entities that export sensitive technologies to Iran that restrict the free flow of information in Iran or disrupt, monitor, or restrict the speech of the people of Iran are barred from US government procurement contracts.
“The case of Huawei, a Chinese company, demonstrates how Iran pays foreign companies to provide sensitive technologies to enable the regime to monitor and crush dissent through surveillance,” said Sherman. “When Iran’s people rose up against the regime’s sham elections in June 2009, Siemens enabled the brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrators by providing mobile phone surveillance to the regime in Tehran. We need to send a strong message to foreign entities aiding Iran’s stifling of dissent by immediately slapping harsh sanctions on this company.”
Huawei, reportedly linked to China’ military and national security apparatus, is one of the world's top producers of telecom equipment. The company is trying to expand in America’s telecom market as well. Huawei unsuccessfully tried to win U.S. approval for acquiring assets and server technology from 3Leaf Systems Inc. of California, last year.
In April, Congressman Sherman introduced the toughest Iran sanctions bill ever, the Stop Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program Act. Among the provisions of the bill, the legislation would definitively end the practice of American corporations conducting business with Iran through their foreign subsidiaries, sanction entities that provide loans to the government of Iran, sanction firms that prepay for future Iranian oil and gas deliveries, and target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its business partners for greater sanctions.