Economy, Sci & Tech

Tech Giants Ready for Iran

Tech Giants Ready for IranTech Giants Ready for Iran

Global tech companies are reportedly interested in working in Iran post sanctions, according to a government official.

Rouhollah Estiri, director of Technology Development in the Presidential Office, made the statement on Sunday at Dubai's GITEX Technology Week.

Estiri noted the presence of leading European and US technology companies at Iran’s pavilion in GITEX and their negotiations with Iranian officials for entering the country’s market.

“So far, we have held constructive talks with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Gemalto, and they have announced readiness to participate in Iran’s ICT market,” Estiri was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

About Iran’s negotiations with IBM, the US technology and consulting corporation, Estiri said, “IBM wishes to cooperate with Iran's leading ICT universities and it has been decided that the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, in coordination with Iranian universities such as Sharif University of Technology, will provide the support for sharing IBM educational packages in the country.”

Prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, IBM used to have an office in the Iranian capital with large contracts to set up ICT infrastructure.

Estiri added that while Iran offers a suitable market for selling their products, the policy of the Islamic Republic is to have the technology transferred to Iran and then participate in joint investments.

“Iran must become a base for selling the products of these companies to other countries in the region,” he said.

The official noted that all the companies have had comprehensive studies on Iran's ICT market and are willing to return to Iran.

Estiri added that Microsoft, which is cooperating with Pakistani companies on granting licenses to the country’s domestic products, is now preparing to start similar cooperation with Iranian firms.

“Microsoft is ready to transfer technology to Iran from zero to 100, so that Iranian products could be marketed under the Microsoft license,” he said.

According to the official, Microsoft is expected to take measures over the next month with regard to investing in Iran.

Referring to negotiations with the French leading company in digital security, Gemalto, Estiri said, “It was decided that Gemalto’s representative in the Middle East travel to Iran next month to apply for setting up a representative office here.”

Microsoft and Oracle both denied they had been in discussions with Iranian officials at the GITEX event, while Gemalto was sent a question by the newspaper for confirmation of the report.

Global tech companies have begun to make cautious moves toward the Iranian market, but many continue to deny holding discussions with private or government officials due to the fear of being hit with sanctions by the United States' Office of Foreign Asset Control.