|[February 12, 2014]
UANI Calls on France's Alcatel to End Business in Iran
NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--
Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its France
Campaign by calling on telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) SA
(Alcatel) to cease its current business-and its exploration of new
In its latest annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC (News - Alert)), Alcatel disclosed
its ongoing Iran business. This month, Alcatel reportedly
participated in a three-day French trade mission to Tehran to explore
new business opportunities following the P5+1 and Iran's interim nuclear
deal. The delegation reportedly met with Mohammad Nahavandian, President
Rouhani's chief of staff, as well as members of Iran's Chamber of
Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
Alcatel's interest in expanding its Iran business is both premature and
ill-advised. As President Obama said in remarks
with French President Francois Hollande yesterday, businesses
"exploring" the Iranian market "do so at their own peril right now,
becaue we will come down on them like a ton of bricks."
Added President Hollande: "As far as sanctions are concerned, they will
only be lifted if and when there is a definite agreement. And during
this period of an interim agreement, they remain in force."
Alcatel maintains a robust U.S. presence, including a listing on the New
York Stock Exchange and a recent $100 million contract securing it
access to the lucrative U.S. 4G mobile telecommunications market.
Moreover, Alcatel has benefited from enormous U.S. government contracts
totaling approximately $1.2
billion since 2000, more than 90% of which came from the U.S.
Department of Defense.
In a letter sent to Alcatel CEO Michel Combes, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark
D. Wallace wrote:
... Alcatel's apparent interest in expanding its Iran business is both
premature and ill-advised. As clearly indicated in numerous statements
issued by U.S. and EU officials, the JPA [Joint Plan of Action interim
agreement] in no way gives a green light for companies to enter or
re-enter the Iranian market. Simply put, Iran is not "open for business."
As to specific business and trade activities, UANI wishes to remind
Alcatel that the Iranian regime frequently misuses sensitive technology
and telecommunications equipment to suppress its own citizens, including
by restricting and monitoring Internet and cell-phone services, as well
as facilitating the broadcast and dissemination of regime-sponsored
propaganda. Firms that provide such goods and services to Iran could be
penalized under U.S. sanctions law. … [A]s you may know, Iran's
telecommunications sector is dominated by the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps ("IRGC") - the sanctioned caretaker of Iran's ballistic
missile and nuclear weapons programs, and the main instrument used in
Iran's domestic repression and global terrorist activities. Indeed, "all
three mobile operators in Iran are directly or indirectly partners with
IRGC-affiliated companies.") Surely, the risks associated with potential
(even inadvertent) partnership with the IRGC and IRGC-affiliated
entities are much too great for any responsible and law-abiding company.
UANI is also cognizant of Alcatel's vast U.S. presence … UANI strongly
believes that no company should benefit from access to the world's
largest economy and consumer market while at the same time investing in
Campaign tracks French companies that are exploring the Iranian
market following the implementation of the Geneva interim agreement.
Notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, there remain severe
reputational, financial and legal risks associated with Iran business.
Accordingly, UANI is calling on French companies to halt Iran business.
UANI has requested a reply from Alcatel by February 14, 2014.
to read UANI's full letter to Alcatel.
to send a message to Alcatel to end its Iran business.
to learn more about UANI's France Campaign.
to learn more about UANI's Tech & Telecom Campaign.
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