Thursday, March 22, 2012

As sanctions pinch, Chinese company helps Iran spy

(Reuters) - A Chinese telecommunications equipment company has sold Iran's largest telecom firm a powerful surveillance system capable of monitoring landline, mobile and internet communications, interviews and contract documents show.

The system was part of a 98.6 million euro ($130.6 million) contract for networking equipment supplied by Shenzhen, China-based ZTE Corp to the Telecommunication Co of Iran (TCI), according to the documents. Government-controlled TCI has a near monopoly on Iran's landline telephone services and much of Iran's internet traffic is required to flow through its network.

The ZTE-TCI deal, signed in December 2010, illustrates how despite tightening global sanctions, Iran still manages to obtain sophisticated technology, including systems that can be used to crack down on dissidents. Read More