U.S. lifts ban on phones, other electronics to Iranians
May 30th, 2013
07:09 PM ET

U.S. lifts ban on phones, other electronics to Iranians

By Jamie Crawford

The United States lifted a ban on exports of certain personal communications equipment and software to Iranians on Thursday and sanctioned Iranian government, military and judicial officials for their alleged roles in suppressing freedom of expression.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a general license that allows for U.S. citizens to send more sophisticated communication gear not readily available to Iranian citizens within their country.

It also serves as an effort to work around Iranian government censorship of communications, and allow for greater communication with people outside Iran.

The license would not extend to any aspect of the Iranian government, or to any individual or entity already sanctioned by the United States government.

Specifically, the license allows for the export or re-export of certain mass market communication devices like smartphones, satellite phones and satellite dishes.

It would also cover anti-virus software to better assist efforts to combat government attempts to place malware on personal computers as a form of censorship.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the State Department.

"As the Iranian government attempts to silence its people by cutting off their communication with each other and the rest of the world, the United States will continue to take action to help the Iranian people exercise their universal human rights, including the right to freedom of expression," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The State Department also imposed visa restrictions on nearly 60 Iranian government officials who it said have participated in human rights abuses of Iranian citizens.

The officials include government ministers, a deputy chief of staff to Iran's supreme leader, officials from the military and intelligence sectors, as well as judiciary and prison officials.

Thursday's actions expand on an initiative begun by the Obama administration in 2010 to expand Internet freedom in countries with a high degree of government supported censorship and repression.

Post by:
Filed under: Iran
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. CMI

    The State Dept must get cramps from all the contortions they go through to serve the interests of big business.

    June 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • fiscaltiger

      this is not about big business it is about our slavery to israeli desires

      June 3, 2013 at 8:50 am | Reply
  2. lance

    they need to nuke iran just for the fact of their big camel noses, world could do without these ugly fornicating sheep herders.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  3. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    May 31, 2013 at 2:22 am | Reply
    • Jomama

      Mesocricetus auratus forever running in his wheel.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:13 am | Reply
    • Carlson

      Well said, john smith. Thank you.

      May 31, 2013 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Bruce

      Sadly,it isnt over Islam still exists,the biggest lie this world has ever known.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • Jomama

        They look at the past not the future.

        May 31, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • Killer O'Bama

        That's what I keep saying, Bruce. Thanks for your support. Then again, my Neocon friends in Washington haven't been 100% honest with the people either! It's a dog eat dog world out there, but a better one without the Muslims!

        May 31, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
      • Anton

        Oh I don't know. Christ on the cross and his resurrection is a pretty big fib too.

        June 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  4. The Professor

    Is that why Persians have the worst reputation and the most backward economy in the world? Why does the president cross-eyed? Probably in breeding, since it is so common to marry first kissin couzins!

    May 31, 2013 at 12:22 am | Reply
    • fiscaltiger

      it would seem the president was the subject of an assassination attempt by israel this week

      June 3, 2013 at 8:53 am | Reply
      • jmatlansky

        What are your sources that gave you the allegations that the leaders of Israel want to end President Obama's life?

        Please reply Fiscaltiger as you have not done so today when you wanted to know, "how much money I made" in my two programs:
        1. Dignity & Dining at: http://www.dignityanddining.org "Feeding The Underfed" in the most effective way that will assist tens of millions of worthy people.
        2 Please Google my name, Jerry Atlansky Truly Reforming Law Enforcement which is attached to the nations only law Oregon Senate Bill 111 Law Enforcement Use Of Deadly Physical Force to be in full force July 1, 2008.

        Know how to research critical subject matter prior to making statements that create hate not love.

        When will you reply to both of your posts to us publicly as the world is watching your non-replies.

        Jerry Atlansky
        jmatlansky@gmail.com

        Jerry Atlansky

        October 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  5. Deal

    I realize that this thought may be way out there but,,,I have to wonder if this decision could have anything to do with pressure from the device manufacturers. A sale is a sale after all.

    May 31, 2013 at 12:15 am | Reply
    • Jomama

      Good one after all money is money.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:16 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Iran must be running low on cell phones to trigger IEDs and car bombs they ship into Iraq!
      After our long and bloody (senseless) campaign to "liberate" Iraq, the "democratically elected" gov. falls in love with Iran! Basically, the Iraq gov. told us to leave. "Thanks, but no thanks! We can kill each other without your help!"And, Dick Cheney didn't get the Iraqi oil which he and "lame brain" GWB claimed would make the Iraqi war "revenue neutral", remember that?
      Our MIC is itching for another big war, the Iraqi "profit machine" ended. What next? Return to Iraq? Invade Iran? "Solve" Syria's problem? Fix Libya's "problems"? Clean out Pakistan? Continue our support of Afghanistan's opium trade?
      Take your pick! Any one of these means huge profits!!!

      June 1, 2013 at 7:36 am | Reply
  6. Johnny Trigg

    This is fine and i know the "normal" person on the street will enjoy and love the new "Toy Phones" we send them and they too can pass "texting while driving laws" that will be as worthless as the ones we have......and then when the day comes they can use the "cell" phones to set off "road mines" hummmmm

    May 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  7. FIghtTheLastWar

    Persian culture has a great deal to offer, and given a hint of freedom, perhaps it can overcome the shackles of theological despotism.

    May 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • Lincoln freed no one

      Their freedom took it up the @ss the day we overthrew Mossadegh.

      May 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Why is it that I keep reading that Muslims are peace loving people? So called "moderate Muslims" are said to exist. Why don't these "moderate Muslims" ever say anything or do anything? All these "radicalized Muslims" are among them, surely they know these people but choose to stay quiet and do nothing!

      June 1, 2013 at 7:52 am | Reply
  8. sand

    ho cares iran is the immortal enemy of the west the iranians dont want peace they want to fight you the west for another 100000 years they will cut down every usa britain australian ireland dublin norway oslo ghana child down and behead them for eternity iran will never stop fighting your evil kind.

    May 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Jomama

      You are having a hard time living because you are so bent on nothing.

      May 30, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Reply
    • Johnny Trigg

      You say your name is "sand" well you must be very very fine sand, because you have no 'GRIT"

      May 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Reply
      • Jomama

        He has a hard time spelling don't be to harsh.

        May 31, 2013 at 5:38 am |
  9. George Patton-2

    It seems like another tactic for the right-wing thugs in Washington to undermine the Teheran government. Ever since the 2009 election over there didn't go their way over there, they tried every trick under the sun to destabilize the Iranian government, including murder either by the C.I.A. or orchestrated by it of that 26 year old student a week following that election in 2009. Even a three year old should know better than to put anything past the C.I.A.!!!

    May 30, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.