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UANI Calls on Ericsson to End Its Iran Business, Stop Working with Human Rights Abuser MTN Irancell

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement today regarding reports that Swedish telecom giant Ericsson plans to extend its network in Iran and has pledged to support MTN Irancell until 2021:

We condemn Ericsson’s plans to double down on its Iran business, and urge it to completely pull out of Iran. Ericsson’s previous pledges to scale back its Iran business and “conduct [its] business in a way that is not directly or indirectly infringing on human rights” ring hollow and disingenuous given recent revelations of its extensive long-term work plans and profits it expects to earn.

Ericsson should under no circumstances be working with MTN Irancell. MTN is a direct partner of the Iranian regime and has blood on its hands from its involvement in spying on and tracking Iranian dissidents and cutting off their means of communication during periods of political protest.

In refusing to end its Iran business, Ericsson is exposing its partners and shareholders to intolerable reputational risk. Instead of responding to the concerns of the international community and taking the responsible course of action, Ericsson has decided to mislead the public about its intentions while increasing its involvement with the regime and MTN – one of the least respected corporate entities in the world.

If Ericsson continues with this course of action, it will surely suffer additional reputational and financial harm as well as increased scrutiny from lawmakers. UANI and its supporters will call for the company to be held accountable under U.S. sanctions law.

UANI has, since its 2008 founding, been urging Ericsson to end its Iran business. In an April letter to Ericsson, UANI called on it to “follow the lead of other responsible global corporations and end its business activities in Iran, particularly in light of the fact that technology provided by Ericsson is being used to perpetrate terrible crimes against the people of Iran.”

In August, UANI noted pledges from Ericsson to not conduct new business in Iran and cease the provision of “lawful intercept” technology to the regime, but called on Ericsson to completely pull out of Iran and end any relationships with MTN Irancell.

Since 2000, Ericsson has received more than $200 million in contracts from the U.S. Government, nearly all from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Click here to read UANI’s April 12, 2012 letter to Ericsson.
Click here to read UANI’s August 2, 2012 letter to Ericsson.
Click here to send a message to Ericsson.
Click here to visit UANI's Tech & Telecom page.

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