Monday, March 26, 2012

UANI Calls on Chinese Telecom Giant ZTE to Withdraw from Iran


March 26, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton,
Phone: (212) 554-3296

UANI Calls on Chinese Telecom Giant ZTE to Withdraw from Iran
Campaign Comes after Reports that ZTE Sold Iranian Regime High-Tech Surveillance Equipment

New York, NY - Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on the ZTE Corporation (ZTE) of China to end its business in Iran, and stop enabling the Iranian regime's surveillance activities. As reported by Reuters last week, ZTE has sold powerful surveillance equipment to the Iranian regime, which helps facilitate the regime's campaign of terror against its own citizens. ­

On Friday, a ZTE spokesperson told Reuters ZTE would "curtail" its business in Iran, but refused to elaborate beyond that. UANI is therefore calling on ZTE to take full responsibility for its business in Iran, and announce a complete withdrawal from the Iranian market.

In a letter to ZTE President and CEO Shi Lirong, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:

UANI has taken note of the recent remarks by ZTE spokesperson David Shu, who told Reuters, "We are going to curtail our business in Iran ... Right now we cannot release more information." (Reuters, "China's ZTE to 'curtail' business in Iran," 3/23/12) Please be advised that for a number of reasons, ZTE's ambiguous and imprecise statements in no way satisfy the serious concerns of UANI and the international community regarding ZTE's irresponsible business in Iran.


[T]he advanced surveillance system ZTE sold to TCI as part of a $130.6 million contract signed in December 2010 enables the Iranian regime to monitor voice, text messaging and internet communications by utilizing intrusive "deep packet inspection" technology. A former telecommunications project manager in Iran contends that the system ZTE sold to TCI was "far more capable of monitoring citizens than I have ever seen in other equipment." This is extremely troubling given the numerous documented cases of the Iranian regime misusing telecommunications technology to monitor, track and arrest political dissidents in Iran.


Given the extent of ZTE's business activities in Iran and the fact that such business has been steadily expanding since 2000, UANI and its supporters are highly skeptical of ZTE's spokespersons statement that ZTE will "curtail" its business in Iran. ZTE should immediately clarify what action it will take to curtail its business now that the implications of ZTE's business on the human rights situation in Iran are clear. In short, UANI calls on ZTE to immediately and completely end its business in Iran.


As ZTE is undoubtedly aware, the United States and other countries are increasingly addressing the issue of dual-use telecommunications equipment going to Iran. ... ZTE could also face penalties under U.S. sanctions for providing a "backdoor" for Iran to acquire U.S. technology. Specifically, ZTE may have violated the Iranian Transactions Regulations. (ITR, 31 CFR part 560) According to Reuters, ZTE's 907-page "Packing List" includes hardware and software products from Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Dell, Juniper Networks and Symantec. ... These prospective penalties should be of serious concern for ZTE, particularly in light of ZTE's $13 billion in investment in U.S. companies and intellectual property.

UANI launched its "Tech & Telecom Campaign" in 2011 to highlight the practices of international firms that provide the Iranian regime with sensitive technology and telecommunications equipment that are used to restrict and monitor internet and cellphone services. The regime uses this technology to facilitate its suppression of the citizens of Iran.

UANI has requested a reply from ZTE by April 3, 2012.

Click here to read the full text of UANI's letter to ZTE.

Click here to send a message to ZTE.

Click here to learn more about UANI's Tech & Telecom Campaign.


United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran should concern every American and be unacceptable to the community of nations. Since 1979 the Iranian regime, most recently under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's leadership, has demonstrated increasingly threatening behavior and rhetoric toward the US and the West. Iran continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in their attempts to monitor its nuclear activities. A number of Arab states have warned that Iran's development of nuclear weapons poses a threat to Middle East stability and could provoke a regional nuclear arms race. In short, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is a danger to world peace.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons. UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

The Objectives of United Against a Nuclear Iran

  1. Inform the public about the nature of the Iranian regime, including its desire and intent to possess nuclear weapons, as well as Iran's role as a state sponsor of global terrorism, and a major violator of human rights at home and abroad;
  2. Heighten awareness nationally and internationally about the danger that a nuclear armed Iran poses to the region and the world;
  3. Mobilize public support, utilize media outreach, and persuade our elected leaders to voice a robust and united American opposition to a nuclear Iran;
  4. Lay the groundwork for effective US policies in coordination with European and other allies;
  5. Persuade the regime in Tehran to desist from its quest for nuclear weapons, while striving not to punish the Iranian people, and;
  6. Promote efforts that focus on vigorous national and international, social, economic, political and diplomatic measures.
UANI is led by an advisory board of outstanding national figures representing all sectors of our country.

American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran | 45 Rockefeller Plaza | New York | NY | 10111

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