UANI Calls on Arqiva to End Facilitation of Human Rights Abuses by the Iranian Regime, Cease Broadcast of Iranian State-Owned IRIB

June 11, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton,
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(212) 554-3296

UANI Calls on Arqiva to End Facilitation of Human Rights Abuses by the Iranian Regime, Cease Broadcast of Iranian State-Owned IRIB

New York, NY - On Monday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on the British telecommunications company Arqiva to stop broadcasting and transmitting the Iranian regime's state-owned networks, and cut all of its ties to Iran.

Arqiva facilitates broadcasts of the regime-controlled Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), as well as foreign-language channels such as the English PressTV and the Arabic Al-Alam. The regime is widely known to broadcast its propaganda throughout Iran and abroad, while illegally jamming the broadcasts of networks like BBC Persian and VOA Persian within its own borders.

UANI has been corresponding with Arqiva over the past months, regarding the harmful role Arqiva plays in transmitting the Iranian regime's propaganda worldwide.

In a May 3, 2012 letter to Arqiva, UANI highlighted Arqiva's support of the regime's serious human rights abuses through the provision of broadcast and transmission services to IRIB. IRIB, the regime's principal propaganda tool against peaceful activists, has been used to broadcast televised "show trials" as well as the interrogation and coerced statements of citizens unjustly imprisoned and tortured by the regime.

Arqiva entered into discussions with UANI, yet so far has not shown a commitment to halting its work in Iran.

In a recent letter to Arqiva CEO John Cresswell, sent May 30, UANI President, Ambassador Kristen Silverberg, wrote:

UANI rejects the assertion that "there is nothing in the sanctions regimes which is inconsistent" with Arqiva's behavior and business activities in Iran. As we noted in our previous letter, The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 ("CISADA") requires the U.S. to ban the "procurement of goods or services with a person that exports sensitive technology" to Iran including any technology that is used "(A) to restrict the free flow of unbiased information in Iran; or (B) to disrupt, monitor, or otherwise restrict speech of the people of Iran." This language on its face precludes U.S. government contracting with any company like Arqiva that broadcasts forced confessions by dissidents arrested for criticizing the regime... Arqiva should also be aware of new U.S. legislation directly addressing the issue raised by your continued cooperation with the Iranian government.


Moreover, we would ask that you specifically address not only Arqiva's legal responsibilities, but your understanding of Arqiva's moral responsibilities as well. By facilitating IRIB's broadcast of libelous programs and hate speech against religious minorities, forced confessions of peaceful dissidents and civil society activists and "show trials" of political prisoners, Arqiva is serving to further the Iranian regime's campaign of persecution and repression against its own citizens. These actions are contrary to the position of the leadership of the U.K. government and sentiment of the British people as they relate to opposing human rights abuses in Iran and are contrary to your company's commitment to act "fairly and ethically wherever we do business." Should Arqiva be sanctioned under any of the provisions described above, the company would face not only the potential for economic harm, but possibly irreparable reputational harm in both the U.S. and Europe.

As part of its "Tech and Telecom Campaign," UANI has succeeded in curtailing the business of international telecom giants such as Adaptive Mobile, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks and ZTE in Iran. UANI launched the campaign in 2011 to highlight the practices of international firms that provide the Iranian regime with sensitive technology and telecommunications equipment that the regime uses to facilitate its suppression of citizens.

Click here to read UANI's full May 30 letter to Arqiva.
Click here to read UANI's May 3 letter to Arqiva.
Click here to send a message to Arqiva.