The scandal surrounding the German corporation Bosch’s delivery of surveillance technology to Iran has expanded to include Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and China.

Germany’s government and the country’s Bosch corporation are facing heavy criticism after Iran International reported on Monday that the engineering giant Bosch sold surveillance equipment to Iran. Germany’s ARD first revealed the alleged Bosch impropriety. 

The United States sanctioned the Chinese company Tiandy last December for supplying video surveillance equipment to Iran and in January the European Union imposed sanctions on a firm that represents Tiandy in Iran.

Iranian activists told the German news outlet that the Danish security company Milestone Systems delivered video analysis software to Iran. Milestone told the outlet that it sold its software to Iran until 2019. The German news organization said Milestone Systems provided the video management software XProtect, an open platform that can be used for various purposes, to Iran. 

The Danish company’s website states that XProtect can also be used to compare faces. ARD wrote “Milestone’s software can be combined with surveillance cameras from different manufacturers -- including cameras from Bosch.”

Surveillance cameras in Tehran

According to Iranian activists, the clerical regime also uses cameras from Sweden and the Netherlands. The companies from Sweden and Holland were not named.

Iran International has learned that Germany’s foreign ministry is referring press queries to Bosch. According to a Bosch statement to ARD, the engineering company sold 8,000 security cameras between 2016 and 2018 to Iran. However, Bosch claims its cameras cannot be used for fully automatic facial recognition.

Germany’s foreign ministry remains mum on the controversial sale of Bosch security cameras to Iran’s regime that can be used to track protesters and women who defy the mandatory hijab.

According to sources, Germany’s foreign ministry is punting media questions to government website information about its export sanctions imposed on Iran and to information about German trade with Iran’s regime being at a historic law.

It is unclear why Germany’s export control agency green-lighted the Bosch sale of mass surveillance technology to Iran’s regime.

Iran International reached out to numerous Bosch spokespeople, including its communication head, Christof Ehrhart, and Natalie Kuzhim, who is responsible for the Middle East. Bosch refused to answer a detailed Iran International press query about the corporation’s alleged misconduct.

Iran International learned that Germany’s foreign ministry has pointed to a diplomatic statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, about Iran’s new crackdown on women. 

An Iranian woman walks without hijab under a surveillance camera in Tehran

Tobias Tunkel, Director of Middle East and North Africa for the German foreign ministry,wrote on August 1 on X: “Iran’s new so-called ‘hijab-and-chastity’ legal draft effectively aims to ban unveiled women from public life. If passed into law, it would further exacerbate the systemic oppression against women and girls in Iran. #WomensRightsAreHumanRights.”

Tunkel’s message on X received a mere 3 retweets and 5 likes as of Monday evening. Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, claims she is promoting a “feminist foreign policy.” Baerbock has refused to classify Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

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