FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Calls on South Korean Electronics Firm LG to Cease Surveillance Business in Iran
New York, NY - On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on South Korea's LG Electronics (LG) to end its business in Iran.
LG has extensive partnerships with Iranian companies and firms, and has produced millions of cellphones in Iran. LG has also sold surveillance equipment in Iran, and its surveillance products appear on the website of an Iranian regime entity.
LG's sale of security products to regime-controlled entities is particularly concerning given the regime's history of misusing security and surveillance technology to monitor, track, apprehend, torture, and kill regime opponents.
In a letter sent August 6, 2012 to Bon-Joon Koo, CEO of LG, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:
... [I]n 2007, LG reportedly partnered with an Iranian company to produce one million phones per year. LG has also partnered with Iran's Maadiran Group to produce five models of telephone handsets under license from LG Electronics.
Of particular concern to UANI is LG's sale of surveillance equipment in Iran. UANI is concerned that such advanced equipment can be used by the regime for surveillance and internal security purposes against the Iranian people. For example, LG surveillance equipment, including the LT903N(P) Speed Dome Camera, is clearly advertised for sale on the website of IRANCCTV. IRANCCTV is a regime entity that operates under the auspices of Iran's Ministry of Culture, which has been described by Reporters Without Borders as "a censorship agency" and "all-out mechanism of control and repression" that violently interrogates journalists and activists in Iran. Additionally, UANI is concerned by LG's partnership with Fariran, an Iranian security firm. According to its website, Fariran has over fifty retailers in Iran, "and was founded with the purpose of importing, distributing and installing LG CCTV security systems in Iran."
LG's extensive business and provision of security products to the foregoing entities is unacceptable in light of the Iranian regime's history of misusing security and surveillance technology to facilitate its brutal and oppressive practices against the Iranian people and safeguard its illicit nuclear program.
LG should also be aware of legislation that could directly impact LG's ability to continue to procure U.S. government contracts. As you know, LG has become a leader in the U.S. electronics market and since 2000, has had at least 119 contracts with the U.S. government, totaling $9,190,190 dollars. The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 ("CISADA") and the soon to be enacted Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act, require the U.S. to ban the "procurement of goods or services with a person that exports sensitive technology" to Iran. This language on its face precludes U.S. government contracting with any company like LG that enables the regime's monitoring of Iranian citizens.
Put bluntly, LG's provision of technology and equipment to Iran is facilitating the regime's campaign of oppression against its own citizens and as a U.S. federal contractor, LG is profiting from the U.S. government while at the same time undermining the strategic interest of the U.S. vis-à-vis Iran. LG's ongoing activities with Iranian regime entities are exposing LG, its stakeholders and partners to increasing reputational risk.
UANI has requested a response from LG by August 13, 2012.