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CHINA BUSINESS BACKDOOR!
Iran's largest telecom company has obtained a powerful surveillance system from a Chinese manufacturer. Despite the boycott from Western companies, Tehran will be able to monitor landline, mobile and Internet communications of potential dissidents. The deal between the China-based ZTE Corporation and the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) was signed back in December 2010. As Reuters says in its comprehensive report, the system was part of a $130.6 million contract for networking equipment supplied by ZTE. TCI is predominantly state-controlled and has a near monopoly on Iran's landline telephone services, as well as having much of the country's Internet traffic flowing through its network. The agreement has now acquired particular importance in view of the recent tightening of global sanctions against the Islamic republic. It demonstrates that Iran still has the means to obtain sophisticated technology, including systems that can potentially be used against anti-government organizations and individuals. Perhaps, the most intriguing implication of the ZTE-TCI deal is the backdoor route it provides Iran for obtaining American hi-tech products despite the US ban on non-humanitarian sales to Iran. The documentation pertaining to the deal lists hardware and software products from a number of renowned American companies, including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Cisco, Dell and others. ZTE, China's second largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, is also a <b>...</b>