Reuters is reporting that the Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson is not only redoubling its commitment to work in the Islamic Republic, but may also be providing technology which the Iranian regime uses to crackdown on dissidents:
While Ericsson argues in the internal document that telecommunications are a “basic humanitarian service,” Iranian human rights groups say Iran’s regime has used the country’s mobile-phone networks to track and monitor dissidents.
An effort to win Iranian cash while limiting reputation risk may be one reason why Ericsson sought to keep its work secret:
The sensitivity of Ericsson’s work in Iran is made clear in a letter written by an executive of the company. On January 19, an Ericsson vice president wrote to MTN Group, a South African company that holds a 49 percent stake in MTN Irancell. In a letter marked confidential, the executive stated that Ericsson undertakes “to not take actions that could unnecessarily bring any extra press scrutiny and that could potentially destabilize the working arrangements in Iran,” according to a copy reviewed by Reuters.