Nobel prizewinner Shirin Ebadi on Tuesday accused German engineering giant Siemens and Finnish telecoms firm Nokia of supplying Iran with technology to help it suppress democratic dissent.
Speaking on France Culture radio, the exiled Iranian feminist, human rights lawyer and 2003 Nobel peace laureate, said Western firms are undermining opposition to Tehran’s authoritarian regime and called for international economic sanctions.
“Unfortunately, a certain number of firms support the Iranian regime in its repression and censorship,” she said.
In my view, Ebadi is putting her finger on this hot topic issue in advance of possible sanctions for two reasons, a) to give the European companies that are at present doing business with Iran a warning. By putting them on notice Ebadi is sending the message in that if they continue profiteering on the back of a democratic movement that is taking shape in the country they will not only have a lot to answer for in terms of their business ethics, be additionally, they will be blacklisted and denied future contracts once change is achieved. And b) She is using Nokia Siemens as an example to shame European governments for their double standard and hypocrisy for not showing greater seriousness about their threat of new economic sections against Tehran.
“When it comes to commercial contracts, human rights fall by the wayside,” she told France Culture, noting that Germany is still Iran’s main European trading partner and accusing it of seeking more lucrative ties.