Report Claims That HP Is Selling Printers In Iran…. That’s A No-No!

Here’s a piece of news that won’t be good for business. The Boston Globe is claiming that HP via a third party is selling printers to Iran. This despite a ban on the sale of pretty much anything to the Middle East country since 1995. Oh, by the way, HP back in 1999 bragged about it’s business in Iran:

But in 1999, before sanctions enforcement became as rigorous as it is today, Albrecht Ferling, the general manager of HP Middle East, was quoted in the press as estimating HP’s growth rate in Iran to be about 50 percent per year.

“Iran is a big market for Hewlett-Packard printers,” he was quoted as saying in Gulf News, an English-language newspaper in the United Arab Emirates. Attempts to reach Ferling, who has left HP, were unsuccessful.

Of course when asked about it today, an HP sock puppet spokesperson gave the usual response that HP has “a policy of complete compliance with all US export laws.”

Sure. Whatever.

HP had better watch its step. Why? Simple:

Andrew DeSouza – a spokesman for the US Treasury Department, which is charged with administering the sanctions – said US companies are barred from selling their goods to a distributor if they have “knowledge or reason to know” that the goods are intended for Iran.

That means HP can get drop kicked in the nether regions if the US Treasury Department can prove that HP is simply looking the other way to make a buck. You can bet that with this story in the press, HP may become a target of the outgoing Bush administration who may want to go out with an extra notch on its belt.

The negative press won’t help matters much either.

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