A computer engineer checks equipment at an internet service provider in Tehran, February 15, 2017. (Supplied)

May 28, 2020

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday issued an executive order requiring the implementation of a law passed last week that bars any cooperation with Israel, including the use of Israeli software and hardware.

The Iranian interior, intelligence, foreign and defense ministries as well as the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the Judiciary are required to implement the law, approved last week by the parliament and the Guardian Council, the Fars News Agency reported.

The Guardian Council is an oversight body that supervises legislation to make sure it is compatible with the “criteria of Islam and the Constitution.”

Fars reported that the Guardian Council had studied the bill and “did not find it against the religion and Constitution.”

The legislation passed by parliament brands any cooperation with Israel as an “act against God.”

“Based on the first article of the bill, all Iranian bodies are required to use the country’s regional and international capacities to confront the Zionist regime’s measures,” an Iranian parliamentary spokesman, Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, said last week.

According to Fars, the legislation states that any cooperation or spying for “the Zionist regime” is to be considered “equal to enmity towards God and corruption on earth,” and “activities of the Israeli software platforms in Iran and using its hardware and software products are forbidden.”

The law was adopted unanimously by all legislators present, Fars reported.

According to Saul Singer, co-author of the book “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle,” the law, if fully implemented, would set Iran back at least half a century, with computers, the internet and smartphones off-limits, exports hobbled and healthcare ravaged. An Iran without “Israel inside,” Singer told The Times of Israel last week, “would make North Korea look advanced and cosmopolitan. Essentially, Iran would go back to the world of 50 years ago, maybe more. It would look like a huge Amish colony in Muslim garb.”

It’s endless,” Singer added, when considering the impact the Majlis ban on all things Israeli would have. “If you count all the Fortune 500 companies that have critical development centers in Israel — including Siemens, an Iranian favorite, IBM, GE… — there’s not much left. I guess they would have to go back to pen and paper, horses, and home visits by doctors with stethoscopes and World War II-era hospitals.”

The legislation also requires the Iranian foreign ministry to “make necessary arrangements to form the Islamic Republic of Iran’s virtual embassy or consulate (in Palestine) and submit the results for approval to the cabinet.”


About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.