Wholesale vendors in the capital report that demand for Nokia handsets has fallen by as much as half in the wake of calls to boycott Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for selling communications monitoring systems to Iran.
There are signs that the boycott is spreading: consumers are shunning SMS messaging in protest at the perceived complicity with the regime by the state telecoms company, TCI. Iran's state-run broadcaster has been hit by a collapse in advertising as companies fear being blacklisted in a Facebook petition. There is also anecdotal evidence that people are moving money out of state banks and into private banks.
Nokia is the most prominent western company to suffer from its dealings with the Iranian authorities. Its NSN joint venture with Siemens provided Iran with a monitoring system as it expanded a mobile network last year. NSN says the technology is standard issue to dozens of countries, but protesters believe the company could have provided the network without the monitoring function.
Siemens is also accused of providing Iran with an internet filtering system called Webwasher.