Risky Business: Icom’s Two-Way Radios Landing In The Hands Of Hezbollah

(New York, N.Y.) – United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has identified a handheld VHF Transceiver Two-Way Radio manufactured by Japan’s Icom Inc. (Icom) being used by Hezbollah, a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in a photograph, which should be of the utmost concern to the company and government officials in Tokyo. Japan is a signatory to multiple export control agreements and authorities – including the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, and Nuclear Suppliers Group.

In the below photograph, a member of Hezbollah’s elite “Radwan Unit” – named for a former commander killed in 2008 and comprised of Hezbollah’s best fighters and used for the group’s most secretive and sensitive missions – is shown with an Icom IC-V82/IC-U82 Handheld VHF Transceiver Two-Way Radio.



In light of this discovery, UANI sent a letter to Icom on June 21, 2022 outlining its concerns about the clear dual-use capability of the radios and asking for clarification on the above photograph and any other potential business ties to Hezbollah. More specifically, UANI outlined its concerns regarding Icom’s business ties to Power Group – which are Icom’s representatives in Lebanon – and Faza Gostrar, which claims to be the “Official ICOM representative in Iran.”

Given Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut and dominance over the southern region of Lebanon, Icom’s presence and sales network in Lebanon through Power Group would appear to be an obvious route for distribution of Icom products to the terrorist group. Faza Gostrar is, moreover, connected to the Iranian Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), a sanctioned government agency whose head, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, was also personally sanctioned in November 2019 by the U.S. for advancing Iran’s “repressive internet censorship.” This also raises the possibility that Icom radio devices are getting into the hands of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), another U.S.-designated FTO. 

Screenshot from Website of Faza Gostar, “Official ICOM representative in Iran”
Screenshot from Website of Faza Gostar, “Official ICOM representative in Iran”

“With its apparent business relationships with Power Group and Faza Gostrar, Icom is skirting dangerously close to violating multiple international sanctions regimes,” said UANI Researcher Director Daniel Roth. “Through the former, Icom is exposed to Hezbollah’s well-known wide and dominant presence in Beirut and through the latter, Icom is risking doing business with the IRGC foreign terrorist organization, which has its hands in all sectors of the Iranian economy. Icom must terminate its Lebanese and Iranian sales and distribution networks to prevent its products from falling into terrorist hands.”