Another Iran judicial and executive FAIL.
A Chinese telecommunications equipment company has sold Iran’s largest telecom firm a powerful surveillance system capable of monitoring landline, mobile and internet communications, interviews and contract documents show.
The system was part of a 98.6 million euro ($130.6 million) contract for networking equipment supplied by Shenzhen, China-based ZTE Corp to the Telecommunication Co of Iran (TCI), according to the documents. Government-controlled TCI has a near monopoly on Iran’s landline telephone services and much of Iran’s internet traffic is required to flow through its network.
The ZTE-TCI deal, signed in December 2010, illustrates how despite tightening global sanctions, Iran still manages to obtain sophisticated technology, including systems that can be used to crack down on dissidents.
Human rights groups say they have documented numerous cases in which the Iranian government tracked down and arrested critics by monitoring their telephone calls or internet activities. Iran this month set up a Supreme Council of Cyberspace, headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said it would protect “against internet evils,” according to Iranian state television.
Mahmoud Tadjallimehr, a former telecommunications project manager in Iran who has worked for major European and Chinese equipment makers, said the ZTE system supplied to TCI was “country-wide” and was “far more capable of monitoring citizens than I have ever seen in other equipment” sold by other companies to Iran. He said its capabilities included being able “to locate users, intercept their voice, text messaging … emails, chat conversations or web access.”
The ZTE-TCI documents also disclose a backdoor way Iran apparently obtains U.S. technology despite a longtime American ban on non-humanitarian sales to Iran - by purchasing them through a Chinese company …
ELIMINATE THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT TO HIS REGIME BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CAN EFFECT A GAME CHANGING SITUATION. THIS IS A RACE TO THE HIGH GROUND TO END THE UNCERTAINTY OF OUTCOME. TO ASSAD THAT MEANS KILLING AS MANY SYRIANS AS IT TAKES TO GET EVERYONE TO GIVE UP. FOR IRAN, CHINA AND RUSSIA THIS IS A SYMBOLIC STRUGGLE TO SEND THE MESSAGE THAT ANY FORM OF REGIME CHANGE FROM PEACEFUL PETITION TO VIOLENT REVOLUTION IS FUTILE AND DESTINED TO FAIL.
Iran's supreme court on Monday dismissed an execution sentence passed by a revolutionary court against an Iranian-American national accused of spying for the CIA
“The supreme court nullified the execution sentence against Amir Mirza Hekmati and sent it to an affiliate court,” said judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei without giving further details.
Hekmati, a 28-year-old of Iranian descent born in the state of Arizona, was arrested in December and Iran’s Intelligence Ministry accused him of receiving training at U.S. bases in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq.
The United States urged Iran to grant Hekmati access to legal counsel and to release him without delay.
“If it is true that there will now be a retrial, this is a welcome development and we hope that he will be reunited with his family soon,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington.
Send an e-letter through United4Iran.
I write to express concern about a new bill before the Iranian Parliament that contravenes Iran’s international human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I am especially concerned about provisions within the new penal code that violate the rights of Iranian citizens through:
• Continued harsh penalties for minors with girls expected to assume adult responsibilities for criminal actions from the age of nine, and boys from the age of fifteen;
• Continued use of corporal punishment such as stoning and lashing considered cruel, inhuman, and degrading;
• Increased penalties for the charge of “action against national security,” which is routinely used to silence and imprison dissidents; and
• Continued discriminatory laws against women and religious minorities.
The Iranian government should immediately start the long overdue process of revising its laws to meet international human rights standards, as called for by the UN Secretary General, the UN Special Rapporteur, the UN General Assembly, and the UN Human Rights Council. This new penal code ignores the recommendations made by the international community to Iran during its Universal Periodic Review in February 2010. This includes recommendations accepted by the government to ensure its laws were in conformity with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a state party.
I strongly urge you to reject this bill and to send it back for revisions that ensure Iran’s laws are in accordance with its international legal obligations and commitments.
Omid, you are so damn perfect.
The greatest antidote to an excess of national pride is a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour.