Between 2009 and today, the period which Bloomberg has went through, Ericsson and the British company Creative Software Ltd have both sold equipment used for surveillance to Iran. Bloomberg has gone through documents and made interviews with people involved in this trade.
Ericsson claims, according to DN, that the document Bloomberg has seen were part of plans that were never implemented. "What we have delivered is a system for Location Based Charging, a system which makes it possible for the operator to see approximately where the customer is when the cell phone is used, this in order to be able to charge the right amount on the bill", said Fredrik Hallstan, press officer at Ericsson, to DN. Hallstan claims there were no gps function in the sold equipment.
"When the political unrest were intensified in 2009, we got a more restrictive approach towards doing business with Iran. And finally, in December 2010, we decided to not make any new deals" said Hallstan to DN
They will however continue to maintain some systems that they have already sold, as part of existing contracts.
The international PEN club has said that they will watch companies which do business with dictatorships extra carefully in the near future.
Last year, the famous Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Shirin Ebadi mentioned Ericsson’s business in Iran during a speech at Stockholm University.
Link to the Bloomberg article