Trade Delegation Campaign: South Africa

A small number of South African companies have shown or expressed interest in expanding or renewing their Iran business following the implementation of the JCPOA.

From April 24-25, 2016, the South African President Jacob Zuma and a trade delegation consisting of 180 public and private companies visited Iran. Prior to the visit, UANI called on President Zuma to focus his efforts on pressuring Tehran to halt its destabilizing and provocative behavior rather than prematurely reward the Iranian regime with lucrative business opportunities.

UANI has led the effort to hold South African telecom giant MTN Group accountable for its role in aiding and abetting systemic human rights abuses in Iran, particularly in light of a report that prior to commencing its business in Iran, MTN was aware that Iranian security officials would have access to its users’ communications and location information.

UANI also successfully pressured South African energy giant Sasol to end its Iran business through a campaign, which included a billboard near Sasol’s U.S. headquarters in Louisiana.

UANI Corporate Campaigns

  • MTN Group

    In 2012 UANI launched a campaign calling on South African telecommunications firm MTN to end its business in Iran. In 2013 in wake of Iran’s presidential election, UANI called for sanctions to be imposed on MTN for its business in Iran and its role in facilitating human rights abuses against the Iranian people. MTN of South Africa is a 49% shareholder of MTN Irancell, the second largest mobile phone network operator in Iran. The majority 51% is in turn owned by the Iranian regime, which has exploited the MTN Irancell network and technology to monitor and track the activities and communications of peaceful dissidents in Iran. MTN Irancell, for example, has reportedly shared user location data with the regime and ordered the suspension of text messaging and Skype during protests against the disputed Iranian presidential elections in 2009.

  • Sasol

    In 2013 UANI called on the South African energy giant Sasol to immediately declare an end to its business in Iran. In August 2013 Sasol divested its interest in the Iranian company Arya Sasol Polymer Company. In August 2015 Sasol clarified it is not pursuing any prospects in Iran.