A Chinese technology company is supplying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) with advanced surveillance equipment that is being used to spy on pro-democracy protesters. Some Republican lawmakers in America are sounding alarms and proposing measures to block the sales.
Tiandy is a tech company located in China and describes itself as an “Iran-friendly alternative” to other Chinese firms that “do not have direct operations in Iran.” According to the security investigative organization IPVM, Iran and China reached an economic agreement last year that is expected to last 25 years and be worth $400 billion.
IPVM has found that the Iranian purchases of Chinese surveillance tech could violate U.S. sanctions and has become more important as the Iranians crack down on democratic protests. Iran’s state media outlets reported last week on meetings between IRGC and Chinese officials that focused on “cooperation in the fields of security and police cooperation.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is leading a group of U.S. lawmakers seeking to advance legislation that would attack the economic alliance between the Beijing and Tehran governments. They specifically aim to prevent a new nuclear deal between the Biden administration and Iran or to condition it on requiring Iran to end its economic connections to China.
Blackburn and other Senate Republicans introduced the Iran-China Accountability Act, which is designed to control the terms of any new Iranian nuclear agreement. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are among the sponsors of the bill.
It is believed that Iran has taken in at least $22 billion in oil sales and agreements with China that violate U.S. sanctions since Joe Biden assumed office.
IPVM now reports that Tiandy has entered into a five-year agreement with an Iranian distributor to supply spy tech for IRGC use. The company also directly supplies local police forces inside Iran.
Iranian Americans for Liberty is an advocacy group that supports pro-democracy dissidents in Iran. Executive director Bryan Leib said that the group is not surprised by the growing ties between the Iranian regime and China, given the “chaos that is U.S. foreign policy” under Biden.
Leib described the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian connections that have grown during the Biden administration as a “new axis of power.” He described the relationships as a “dangerous alliance of rogue states” that are opposed to individual freedom and liberty.