UANI Calls on France’s Alcatel to End Business in Iran
Firm was Part of French Trade Delegation that Recently Visited Tehran
Following Interim Agreement Implementation
NEW YORK -- February 12, 2014
Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its France Campaign by
calling on telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent SA (Alcatel) to cease its
current business—and its exploration of new business—in Iran.
In its latest annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), 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, because 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
In a letter sent to Alcatel CEO Michel Combes, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D.
... 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
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 Iran. …
UANI’s France 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.
Click here to read UANI’s full letter to Alcatel.
Click here to send a message to Alcatel to end its Iran business.
Click here to learn more about UANI’s France Campaign.
Click here to learn more about UANI’s Tech & Telecom Campaign.
United Against Nuclear Iran
Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296
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