World

Company ends contracts with Iran after cranes used in public hangings

A Japanese company said it has ended contracts with the Iranian government following a report that its cranes have been used for public executions.

Just days after United Against Nuclear Iran President Mark Wallace penned a July 6 opinion article in the Los Angeles Times stating that the Japanese crane company Tadano was one of several selling cranes to Iran, the company announced Tuesday it would cease making further Iranian deals.

Crane-hanging has become a common practice in Iran. Tadano’s cranes, as well as those produced by other international manufacturers, have been used to make a dramatic public scene of executions. In 2004, Iran garnered international attention for hanging a 16-year-old girl from a crane in public view for having promiscuous sex, a violation of Sharia law.

While UANI communications director Nathan Carleton believes companies send their products to Iran without knowing the troubling consequences, he said the government has a dark history of misusing imported goods.

“No one should be having their products going to Iran, particularly given the Iranian regime’s history of misusing products and money to fund terrorism,” Carleton said.

Wallace wrote that since Iranian citizens staged uprisings in 2009, the Tehran government has stepped up its use of foreign goods, including cranes, in a crusade to execute its own people. (New York Times posts Spanish translation of immigration article)

“It’s no coincidence that Iran’s increased staging of public executions came at the same time protest movements were gaining steam throughout the Middle East,” Wallace wrote. “What better way to keep Iranians from having ‘dangerous ideas’ like those of their neighbors?”

UANI has launched a Cranes Campaign, publishing on its website a list of eight international companies that send crane resources to Iran, with photos of the cranes being used as execution devices.

The Cranes Campaign has helped persuade Tadano to stop doing business with Iran and confirmed that the Texas based Terex corporation ended its business transactions with the country in 2010.

UANI’s campaign has also focused attention on Asian and European companies for sending cranes to Iran.

“The entire free world has basically spoken loudly about the illegality of Iran’s nuclear weapons programs,” Carleton said. “You shouldn’t be doing to business there when you know the government has a history of falsifications.”