For conservatives, the 2016 presidential race is a bit confusing. The field is littered with stragglers who are all accusing other Republicans of not being “true” conservatives. With very few exceptions (like Ted Cruz) every candidate has been accused of not being a “true” conservative.
Perhaps none have encountered this “they’re not a true conservative” accusation like Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard (HP)CEO that comes with differing narratives.
Fiorina attests that she was run-out of the company because of the hard choices she made to turn the company around. There’s some truth to that.
Others point to cold, hard numbers that show that under Fiorina’s leadership, HP’s stock plummeted. There’s truth in that, too.
Fiorina has been a vocal opponent of President Obama’s Iran deal, a nauseating plea for appeasement on behalf of the Obama Administration that yields everything Iran could ever want from the U.S. in exchange for the mere unenforceable promise of slowing their march towards a nuclear weapon.
Chief among the criticism is the provision within the deal that removes economic sanctions from Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terrorism in the world.
With these sanctions removed, the despotic Islamic regime will have more maneuverability and finances to augment terrorist operations throughout the world, terrorist operations that would target Western Europe, the U.S. and Israel.
Fiorina is right to criticize such a deal. It will lead to increased terrorism throughout the world and is a naked attempt at appeasement of fanatics.
However, according to a new report, Fiorina may not be in the best position to offer her criticisms as under her watch, HP reportedly profited by exporting to Iran through an intermediary.
According to Bloomberg View, HP sold hundreds-of-millions of dollars of products to Iran through a foreign subsidiary.
What Fiorina never mentions on the stump is that while she was in charge, Hewlett-Packard used a European subsidiary and a Middle East distributor to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of printers and other computer equipment to Iran.
HP’s unusual omnipresence inside Iran was first reported in 2008 by the Boston Globe, which discovered that in 1997 the company struck up a partnership with a new Indian company in Dubai called Redington Gulf. The partnership was so successful distributing in Iran that HP printers were No. 1 there, with 41 percent of the market share by 2007.
All U.S. companies were banned from exporting to Iran in 1995, when President Bill Clinton issued two executive orders tightening sanctions on Iran in response to Iran’s support for international terrorism and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. If HP executives knew about what the Dubai-based distributor was doing, they would have been breaking U.S. law.
After the Globe article came out, the Securities and Exchange Commission, which investigates violations of sanctions, wrote HP a letter inquiring about the Iran business. HP responded by saying that over $120 million worth of its products had been sold to Redington Gulf for distribution in Iran by a foreign subsidiary based in the Netherlands. Because these sales took place through a foreign subsidiary, HP denied violating sanctions law….
HP severed ties with Redington Gulf after the SEC inquiry.
Later on in her 2010 campaign, Fiorina partially admitted HP’s business in Iran and defended it in an interview with Lady Globes magazine, on the basis that technology could open up Iran to the world. She said that the Iran business was “distributing printer ink,” which she said that was permitted in export law.
“But isn’t it wonderful that Dell PCs and Apple iPhones are in Iran, because this is why we know that a woman has been condemned to be stoned to death because she is accused of adultery. … The knowledge that we gain about was going on there is important. It gives us a human face on a brutal regime,” she said. “So I think in addition to crippling sanctions on the regime, we should be encouraging elements of political reform inside Iran, and one of the ways to do that is by selling communication in and out.”
This is not the first time Fiorina has been called to account for the decision to skirt U.S. laws. This has been raised before; however, as the products were funneled through a foreign subsidiary, both HP and Fiorina have denied violating the sanctions requirements.
If Fiorina is going to criticize the disastrous Iran deal (and she should), she first needs to come-clean about her and HP’s role in aiding the despotic regime.