Thursday, 4 June 2020
Iran Decides to Do Without Any Israeli Hardware or Software

by Hugh Fitzgerald

David Horovitz, editor of the Times of Israel, has reported that Iran’s Majlis in late May passed a law that bans “any cooperation” with Israel, which includes the use of any Israeli technology, including computer software and hardware. He has fun listing all the things that Iran, in its orgy of anti-Israel hate, if it obeys its own laws, will have to be doing without.

Here is Horovitz’s astonishing list of Israeli advances the mullahs will now have to forgo:

Ahead of its annual al-Quds Day orgy of Israel-bashing on Friday, Iran’s parliament has unanimously passed legislation banning “any cooperation” with Israel — specifically including the use of Israeli computer hardware and software — as a crime against God…

Under the legislation passed Monday, any cooperation with “the Zionist regime” is henceforth to be considered “equal to enmity towards God and corruption on earth,” according to the semi-state news site Fars. “All Iranian bodies are required to use the country’s regional and international capacities to confront the Zionist regime’s measures,” it reported, and, specifically, “activities of the Israeli software platforms in Iran and using its hardware and software products is forbidden.”

Rather than protesting this latest legislative iteration of the ayatollahs’ relentless and doomed efforts to precipitate Israel’s demise, the free world might consider applauding the ban, if not actively demanding its enforcement, in those areas where it does not directly spell the deaths of innocents.

Because, given the centrality of Israeli innovation and technology to so many aspects of modern life, the new anti-Israel legislation, if implemented as required by the Iranian parliament, will set Iran back decades, raise Iranian public disaffection with the repressive ayatollahs to new heights, and likely spell the demise of the brutal, rapacious and cynical regime.

For a start, if the solemnly enacted legislation of the Majlis is to be regarded as anything other than hot air, Iran must now shut down all of its computers. They all feature Intel chips and/or technologies designed and/or developed in Israel…

Of course, Iran will henceforth have rather less need for computers anyway, since its new legislation means it will also have to stop using the internet. That’s because routers produced by Cisco Systems are a core component of the internet’s backbone — transferring information between computer networks at dizzying speeds — and Cisco Israel is central to the US multinational’s ongoing router development….

But then Iran would be immensely constrained in using the internet anyhow, since, under the new legislation, it’s hard to see which search engines law-abiding Iranians would be allowed to use. Google does enormous amounts of R&D work in Israel, across a wide array of products. One small example: “Google Suggest,” which starts searching for you even as you type in your request — developed in Israel.

To make Google still more unacceptable to the Iranian regime, its two founders, Sergei Brin and Larry Page, are both Jewish. So is the founder of Facebook. So is one of the founders of Microsoft. So is the founder of Cisco Systems. Oh dear.

As for the Bing search engine, well, that’s a Microsoft product. And as Microsoft’s then-CEO Steve Ballmer famously declared on a visit to Israel in 2008 (17 years after the firm set up its first R&D division outside the US here), “Microsoft is as much an Israeli company as an American company.” (Hailing Israel’s “remarkable” tech on a subsequent trip four years later, Ballmer noted that Microsoft employs more workers per capita in Israel than anywhere else on earth.)

Cloud storage of data is going to be a problem from now on too, since the technology behind it is an Israeli specialty. Indeed generally, says Saul Singer, co-author of the bestselling “Start-Up Nation” who helped me with a lot of the material for this article, Israel is “big on routers and chips and all the core infrastructure that drives technology.”

The Iranians will also now obviously have to hang up their smartphones. Going back to Motorola, which was doing R&D in Israel even before Intel, cellphones are riddled with Israeli tech.

In fact all of Iran’s international connections — communications, banking, freight shipping, even its vital oil exports — are going to require careful examination by the Majlis, for fear of cooperation with us Zionists.

Depending on how stringently it interprets its law, Iran may have to unilaterally constrain its already sanctioned international banking interactions, because numerous major international banks — Citibank, RBS, Deutsche Bank et al — do R&D in Israel, have bought Israeli companies, and/or use Israeli cyber systems.

Shipping is going to be a problem, since Freightos — the Expedia of global freight shipping — is, well, Israeli.

Iran’s vital oil exports are going to take a massive hit: The international oil refineries that handle its black gold rely on Israeli-developed monitoring systems, Israeli cyber defense systems and other protective technology developed in Israel…

What will happen now if Iranians really do attempt to follow their new law, and have nothing to do with Israeli advances in computer hardware and software, in cybersecurity, smartphones, smart cars, medical equipment, innovation of all kinds, astonishing in their number and variety? They will soon find themselves back in 1970, long before computers were in every home, long before the Internet. They will be a Muslim variant on the Luddites, and on the Amish, while the rest of the world continues to progress technologically, and with tiny Israel still churning out one technological advance after another.

I think it would be wonderful if the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei decided to strictly enforce the latest anti-Israel legislation. No Israeli-made technology to be found in either Iran’s hardware or its software will mean for Iran no computers at all. And the Iranians would have to do without so much else (see the long list provided by David Horovitz). Having passed legislation banning the use of any technology originating in Israel, the Iranians will no doubt claim to be capable of creating their own. This is a development not to deplore, but to welcome. It will be a useful lesson to the Iranian regime on its own failures, which Iranians will unavoidably compare with the massive success of Israel as the “Start-Up Nation.” How long could the Iranian economy, or society, last without computers? How long would it take the Iranians to build hardware and software that had nothing to do with Israeli technological advances and that would be comparable to what they are using today?

The mullahs’ regime will quickly realize the folly it has just legislated, in insisting that Iran must do without Israeli technology, and it may simply ignore, or find a way to get around, its own laws. In doing so, it will hold itself up to the ridicule of the Iranian people. Or alternatively, the fanatics who run the regime will insist on observing the legislation that prohibits the use of Israeli technology, thereby dealing a knockout blow to Iran’s economy, and that will earn them not mockery alone, but also rage from a populace compelled to live without all the technological advances to which Israeli scientists have contributed, and thus without the economic and social well-being that naturally flow from those advances. Either way, because of the new legislation from the Majlis, the regime in Tehran has now asked for terrible trouble. Does it want to look weak, if it repeals or ignores its own new law, or surpassingly stupid, if it upholds the new law? We’ll soon find out.

First published in Jihad Watch

Posted on 06/04/2020 7:15 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
4 Jun 2020
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Iran's leaders are absolutely tone deaf. After they spread coronavirus via Arab shi'a all over the Middle East, they've come to be resented even by Arab shi'a. They've lost their stature as a leader of Islam to Turkey, which being sunni, is more capable of attracting the support of Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda and ISIS than Iran is. Given how there's not a single country that looks to Iran for Islamic inspiration, they should stop pretending that they're the world's #1 Islamic country

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