Benjamin Weinthal Finland International Law Iran

JUST BECAUSE EUROPEAN COMPANIES (FINLAND’S NOKIA) CAN DO BUSINESS WITH IRAN DOESN’T MEAN THEY SHOULD…….

UNSCR 1373 (chapter 7 binding) specifically restricts states from supporting terrorist regimes, Finland, along with many other countries flaunt this law all the while they demand Israel to adhere to non-binding resolutions by the UNGA.

The telecoms giant Nokia exemplifies the financial risks and reputational damage Iran poses to European firms. In 2008, the then-joint Finnish-Germany venture Nokia-Siemens sold Tehran advanced surveillance technology. After Iranians flooded the streets in 2009 to protest the country’ fraudulent presidential election, the government used the systems to disrupt demonstrators’ Internet, Twitter and mobile communications, leading to a grassroots campaign for a consumer boycott of Nokia-Siemens.

Just because European companies can trade with Iran doesn’t mean they should

Benjamin Weinthal 8 August 2015 7:55
cranes

Iran uses cranes to hang citizens for offences such as ‘waging war against God’ and ‘crimes against chastity’. These cranes are often made in Europe.

Now, with sanctions against the Iranian regime lifted, European companies are are clamouring to get back into the Iranian market. The CEO of the Austrian construction giant Palfinger last week called Iran a ‘promising market’. But after a human rights group in Vienna released a photograph of an Iranian dangling from a Palfinger crane, the company quickly backtracked on that statement.

As Amnesty International noted last month, ‘Iranian authorities are believed to have executed an astonishing 694 people between 1 January and 15 July 2015.’ The number is expected to climb to more than 1,000 by year’s end.

A Wikileaks British dispatch from 2008 revealed that Iran had executed 4,000 to 6,000 gays and lesbians in the three decades since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Given the country’s opaque penal colony system, it is impossible to determine how many gays and lesbians were hanged by Western cranes. But given Iran’s reliance on European construction equipment, it stands to reason that some were.

It’s not just construction. The telecoms giant Nokia exemplifies the financial risks and reputational damage Iran poses to European firms. In 2008, the then-joint Finnish-Germany venture Nokia-Siemens sold Tehran advanced surveillance technology. After Iranians flooded the streets in 2009 to protest the country’ fraudulent presidential election, the government used the systems to disrupt demonstrators’ Internet, Twitter and mobile communications, leading to a grassroots campaign for a consumer boycott of Nokia-Siemens.

Siemens does not seem to have been put off: company representatives were part of the delegation accompanying German Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel to Tehran last month.

More here.

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