Cranes, Construction and Tunneling Campaign

UANI's "Cranes, Construction, and Tunneling Campaign" highlights the activities of international firms that provide the Iranian regime with construction equipment and heavy machinery, including sensitive tunneling technology that is used to shield and obscure Iran’s nuclear program and cranes used in public executions.

Construction Campaign

Construction equipment and heavy machinery, including heavy trucks, have applications in sensitive and sanctioned sectors of the Iranian economy, such as its oil and gas industry. Construction machinery and vehicles have also been used to transport Iranian missiles, or even serve as mobile missile-launcher platforms.

UANI has run a number of successful campaigns against construction equipment manufacturers that had been active in Iran:

Cranes Campaign

One of the Iranian regime's preferred methods of execution is public hanging from a construction crane. To address this egregious phenomenon, UANI launched its "Cranes Campaign" in 2011 with a launch op-ed in the Los Angeles Times entitled "Iran's Execution Binge." In Iran, offenses that carry the death penalty include homosexuality, adultery, and "enmity against God." Fair trials for these offenses are unheard of. A significant number of victims are publicly hanged from a construction crane, which is an especially slow and painful method of execution.

Unfortunately, the cranes used for these hangings are primarily supplied to Iran by Western and Asian companies. Any company that exports cranes to Iran is directly aiding the regime in its cruel persecution of dissidents and other innocents. Thus far, UANI has succeeded in pressuring leading crane manufacturers to end their business with the Iranian regime.

Tunneling Campaign

The Iranian regime utilizes tunneling equipment and technology to dig massive underground tunnels and facilitiesthat shield and obscure its nuclear program. Many of the international tunneling firms providing such equipment to Iran act through or in conjunction with Islamic Revolutionary Guard-sanctioned companies such as Sahel Consulting Engineers or Ghaem.

In addition, a number of these international tunneling firms, including Herrenknecht, Aker Wirth and Seli, receive hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. civil contracts for major infrastructure projects despite their activity in Iran. Firms that provide this technology and equipment are liable to be penalized under U.S. and EU sanctions law for materially contributing to Iran's illicit nuclear program.

Tunneling Firms Reportedly Active in Iran

  • NFM

    Launched a campaign calling on French mechanical engineering firm NFM to end its business in Iran. NFM provides tunneling equipment in Iran, and has worked directly with entities affiliated with the blacklisted Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

  • SELI

    Launched a campaign calling on Italian underground excavation company SELI to end its business in Iran. SELI provides tunneling equipment in Iran, and has worked directly with entities affiliated with the blacklisted Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

  • Herrenknecht

    German manufacturer Herrenknecht is the leading supplier of TBMs to Iran. The the firm lists two sales and service offices in Tehran: Herrenknecht Iran and Tajhizat Novin Tunnel PJS. A 2010 New York Times report highlighted Iran’s abuse of civilian tunnel-boring machines to shield and obscure its nuclear weapons program and pointed to Herrenknecht as a key supplier to Iran of such equipment.

  • Aker Wirth

    German manufacturer Aker Wirth has operated Iran through the WPS Group and previously sold tunnel-boring equipment to Iran for a water project that was managed by the IRGC. According to a 2009 report by World Tunneling, Aker Wirth had three TBMs active in Iran.

  • Kamugai

    According to World Tunneling, tunnel boring machines constructed by Japanese construction firm Kamugai are active in tunneling projects in Iran.

  • Ceresola

    Swiss firm Ceresola recently signed a tunneling technology contract worth over €1 billion with the Rahab Engineering Establishment, an IRGC entity.

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