back to article HP caught flogging to Iran

HP has been selling printers via a third party distributor to Iran, in probable breach of US sanctions. Although the print giant seems to have limited sales to low-level printers this is still likely to fall within the US's general ban on technology exports to Iran unless specifically licensed. HP sells kit to Iran via a …


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  1. Dave Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    ...they would have remained undetected if their boxes hadn't been so darned big

  2. Jack Harrer
    Thumb Down

    I call it BS

    ..because that what it is. HP sells to a reseller - they shouldn't really care what reseller does with the stuff. Iran can always buy some "hardly used" stuff from places like Russia or China.

    All that export sanctions are moot - can be easily overridden in most cases anyway.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A tourist from Iran wanted to buy a laptop to take home. They bought one from Dell and were honest, declaring they would take it back to Iran. Dell actually called and said they could not fulfil the order due to US restrictions.

    The same tourist walks into PC World and buys a more powerful laptop (for a lot more money) no questions asked (well, do you want an extended warranty - to which the answer was No).

    Printers are not going to aid in the development of WMDs, neither are laptops. Yes, supercomputers may help but I guess they're special custom ordered devices.

    Normal computing bans only hinder administration (schools, universities, hospitals, tax offices, police, admin in the military).

    US companies do own all the IP (Intel, AMD) so could block all exports as it's not possible to build any computer without some US IP... aside from ARM and they're only used in mobile devices.

    Question is - what is the point. To stop WMD / terrorism or just to make life that little bit more awkward ?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Can Iran afford the cost of replacement ink cartridges?

  5. Kwac
    Black Helicopters

    HP + CIA?

    Superb plan to overwhelm the Iranian infrastructure - obviously the HP mouse on pallet, memory in oversize boxes were consignments bound for the foreign devils but accidentally sent to native consumers.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    They should care because they have to

    <<<... ..because that what it is. HP sells to a reseller - they shouldn't really care what reseller does with the stuff. Iran can always buy some "hardly used" stuff from places like Russia or China. ...>>>

    HP should care because it has to - the law is written in such a way that any company selling through a channel distributor, reseller or similar has to inquire about the end destination of these products.

    Technically, Best Buy is in breach of these laws for not asking those questions.

    Quite frankly, I hope they throw the book at HP - what's the point of having laws if they are not acted upon?

    [Paris, because she knows a lot about the destination of ends]

  7. Scott

    HP At It Again

    If HP had done this openly to protest a foolish law, I might be sympathetic. It seems to simply be HP doing what HP does.

    Then:That private investigator, who broke any number of laws to get us the information we demanded? He is no longer employed by HP.

    Now: One of our distributors has been shipping our goods to Iran in violation of federal law? We'll take care of it. Boy is his wrist is going to sting.

    There appears too be no law HP won't break for a dollar. Something should be done. It is likely nothing will be. If the law does not specify a penalty, I will suggest one: 10 times the retail value of all goods found to have been shipped in violation. Shoddy records? Can't tell what was shipped where from that distributor? 10 times the value of all goods shipped to that distributor.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    These laws are sooo naive...

    Printers ... hahaha. They get caught for *printers* when so much high-tech, military-grade equipment is happily sold to Iran and other countries under bans by so-called friendly 3rd world countries. I used to work for a high-tech company in the satellite telecoms business in an Asian country usually considered as a close ally of the western world. I once found out that our two biggest international customers were ... Burma and Iran !

    All the sat equipment was bought from US and European companies then resold to the customers in these countries with a *huge* margin.

    Anon, just in case.

  9. elderlybloke

    Is Iran a bigger menace the USA?

    Well as for waging war without just cause, the USA is like the 3rd Reich, found guilty 62 years ago.

    Apparently the Americans think they are above the international laws of the United Nations.

  10. Mark W

    HP broken which law exactly?

    I don't think that HP has broken US trade sanctions. The export and re-export of pretty much everything from US to Iran is restricted, but as HP did not export anything to Iran the re-export by Redington is where blame lies.

    One of the previous posters seems to be suggesting you need an end user certificate for IT equipment and, unless it was classed as a munition, you don't. The US person selling a printer is under no obligation to determine where the product will end up ultimately. But being willfully blind - not asking questions when a reasonable suspicion exists that a US export law will be breached by the buyer of the equipment - is against the law.

    A friend told me a few months ago on a visit that pirate copies of Vista are freely available in markets in Tehran. Just think of damage they are doing ...

  11. BioTube


    You're one of those people who compares pirates and emperors, ain't you? The difference is this: Germany took on the entire industrialized world(except for Italy and Japan) and lost horribly. The US, though in a state of declining power(not likely to stop any time soon, unless Comrade Obama does some rather drastic things, like embargoing China), can still kick just about anybody's ass and hasn't attacked anybody of consequence.

    The lesson? Be the biggest and the meanest and attack places nobody cares about. If the US conquered the entire Middle East, the biggest fuss would be over the possible loss of oil(let's face it: nobody cares about the region for any other reason[unless you count terrorism, which a conquest would stop anybody else form caring about, since the conqueror would draw all that ire upon itself]).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    And to cap it all...

    I get a 3 month customs enquiry wait for buying server RAM from ebay in the US to be shipped to England (on a machine I bought in the UK legitimately) - I'm waiting for the CIA or FBI to come knocking the door down...

    Paris, cos even she ain't that stupid (..well.............I hope........)

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