Human rights due diligence in Italtel S.p.A agreement with the Telecommunications Company of Iran
Lead NCPItaly
Supporting NCP(s)Netherlands
DescriptionThis complaint lodged by FIDH, REDRESS and JFI relates to whether risk-based human rights due diligence was conducted within the framework of an agreement between the Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) and Italtel.
Theme(s)Disclosure, General policies, Human rights
Date13 Sep 2017
Host country(ies)Islamic Republic of Iran
Industry sectorInformation and communication
StatusNot accepted

Read the initial assessment issued by the NCP of Italy- 7 June 2018.

On the 13 September 2017, three NGOs: International Federation for Human Rights - FIDH; REDRESS; and Justice for Iran – JFI - submitted a specific instance concerning the Italtel S.p.A. (hereinafter “Italtel”) to the NCP of Italy.

The submitters alleged that by entering a MoU with Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI), Italtel would have equipped TCI with the means to enable the Iranian government to engage in censorship, surveillance, and Internet shutdowns of political dissidents and that Italtel had failed to conduct a risk-based human rights due diligence.

The arguments and evidence provided by Italtel and the information obtained by other Ministerial sources enabled the NCP to verify that:

  • No operational contract with TCI has been signed by Italtel after the MoU;

  • The prospective project covered by the MoU is completely different from the one described by the submitters; the system that Italtel intends to supply to TCI is  not related to the IP backbone network, instead, it concerned the fixed voice service.

  • On this prospective project, Italtel carried out a due diligence adopting effective technical measures to prevent the risks of eventual distorted use of the communication tools offered to TCI - which is also compliant with the requirements of the EU and US regulations - i.e. the inhibition of the interception function in the ICT system.  

  • The company obtained by the necessary authorisation from the Italian National Authorities to operate in Iran.

In this respect, the NCP concluded that the submission was not material nor substantiated; that there seemed to be no  link between the operations of Italtel and the future potential violations raised by the submitters and that the examination of the specific issues would not contribute to the purpose and effectiveness of the Guidelines. Therefore, it concluded that the issue raised did not merit further examination.