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Inmarsat

Inmarsat

Industry: 
Telecommunications
Symbol: 
LSE:ISAT
States: 
DC
FL
Country: 
United Kingdom
Contact Information: 
Sources: 

"A Tel Aviv-based civil rights group accused UK satellite operator Inmarsat Plc over the weekend of admitting it provides its technology to Iranian oil tankers. Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) warned Inmarsat last month that the company could risk civil as well as criminal proceedings in US courts if it did not stop supplying its guidance services to Iranian military vessels and tankers. Rich Harris, Inmarsat’s senior vice president told Shurat HaDin that the group’s allegations had no basis, and that Inmarsat is not violating sanctions. According to Harris, after the British government privatized Inmarsat in 1999, the company was obliged to continue its 'public service obligations' to 'ensure the continuity of maritime satellite distress and safety communications services' for the UN’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. Inmarsat was obliged to provide all ships with distress communications systems 'without discrimination on the basis of nationality,' Harris noted. In response, Shurat HaDin director and civil rights activist Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said that Inmarsat could still be in violation of sanctions, despite its UN obligations . . . The warning letter came in the wake of recent US Treasury Department sanctions against Iranian vessels, imposed last month . . . In a July 26 interview with Space News, Inmarsat spokesman Christopher McLaughlin had said that 'some of these ships [on the Treasury Department list] nonetheless appear to be using older Inmarsat gear,' while noting that the company is not informed as to the identity of its customers, because of its history as an international treaty organization. In that interview, McLaughlin said that these were 'heritage services' installed before its distribution partners had to inform it of its customers’ exact identities." (Jerusalem Post, "Shurat HaDin: UK company servicing Iran tankers," 8/5/12)

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"A Tel Aviv-based civil rights group warned on Wednesday that satellite operator Inmarsat could face criminal prosecution if it continues providing its technology to Iranian oil tankers. In a letter to Inmarsat, Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) said the company could risk civil as well as criminal proceedings in US courts if it did not stop supplying its guidance services to Iranian military vessels and tankers. Shurat HaDin's director, and civil rights activist, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said the warning letter came in the wake of recent US Treasury Department sanctions against Iranian  The sanctions, imposed earlier this month, identify by name 58 National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) vessels. The US Treasury Department said that identifying the vessels would help companies and individuals comply with sanctions against Iran and undermine Iran's attempts to use NITC front companies to evade sanctions. Twenty-eight of the vessels named by the US Treasury Department appear on Inmarsat's shipping directory as being in receipt of the company's services . . . According to Jane's Intelligence Weekly,  the Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI), is the Islamic Republic's national signatory to Inmarsat.  Iran's Revolutionary Guards have effectively taken over Iran’s telecommunications company, TCI, after the Mobin Trust Consortium, a company partially owned by the Guards, won a 2009 tender. Meanwhile, other documents available on Inmarsat's website list TCI as a Point of Service Activation (PSA), the company's term for an entity that has concluded a contract with Inmarsat for its C or Mini C satellite system, used by vessels for two-way communication. In its letter to Inmarsat, Shurat HaDin say that providing aid to Iran is illegal." (Jerusalem Post, "Shurat HaDin warns UK operator over Iran deals," 7/25/12)