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updated: 10/19/2017 2:50 PM

Lester: Kirk criticizes Naperville company for Iran business

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  • Former Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park is speaking out against a Naperville company's business in Iran.

    Former Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park is speaking out against a Naperville company's business in Iran.
    Associated Press/2016

 
 

Former U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is stepping out of retirement to criticize a Naperville telecommunications company he says is doing business in Iran.

Coriant, which develops software for voice, data and mobile networks and also has headquarters in Munich, is listed as an exhibitor at the Iran Telecom Innovations Show this week in Tehran. Kirk says he's concerned because the conference appears to be supported by the Iranian Communications Regulatory Authority, which remains subject to significant U.S. sanctions.

Coriant spokesman Scott Larson did not respond to a request for comment.

Kirk, a Highland Park Republican who lost a re-election bid to Democrat Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates last year, recently joined the board of United Against Nuclear Iran, which aims to stop economic and financial support of Iran by businesses until the Iranian regime "verifiably abandons its drive for nuclear weapons."

The group sent a 14-page letter this month to Shaygan Kheradpir, CEO and chairman of Coriant.

The letter, which says the company got more than $19 million in U.S. government contracts last year, asks for clarification why a leading international business "would want to engage with Iran when the Islamic Republic has shown no inclination to respect basic human rights or avoid the sponsorship of terrorism."

Amazon in DuPage?

A DuPage County economic development alliance is pitching Oak Brook and West Chicago as possible sites for Amazon to build its second headquarters.

The 100-acre McDonald's Oak Brook Campus -- vacant next year when the company leaves for Chicago -- and the DuPage Business Center near DuPage Airport in West Chicago would be ideal locations for the coveted company and its 50,000 jobs, according to the head of Choose DuPage.

John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage, left, talks with Karyn Charvat of Power Forward DuPage, right, before the Business Outlook 2017 Newsmakers' Forum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
  John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage, left, talks with Karyn Charvat of Power Forward DuPage, right, before the Business Outlook 2017 Newsmakers' Forum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. - Daniel White | Staff Photographer

President John Carpenter, of Antioch, stresses the county's low taxes and proximity to hotels, shopping, good schools and recreation, as well as Metra trains to downtown Chicago.

"It's a foot in both urban and suburban lifestyles," Carpenter said, noting, "as time goes on, suburban areas are becoming more and more attractive."

Today is Amazon's deadline for proposals. Carpenter said the company hasn't said when it will make a decision. Choose DuPage doesn't plan to discuss details of its bid while the process is still open, he said.

Meanwhile ...

Oral arguments in former College of DuPage President Robert Breuder's wrongful termination case have been set for Nov. 7 in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mazzochi bids for statehouse

College of DuPage Board Chair Deanne Mazzochi
College of DuPage Board Chair Deanne Mazzochi

At the same time the case is going on, COD Board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi is making a bid for state representative. Mazzochi, a patent attorney, is running to replace Republican Patti Bellock of Hinsdale, who is not seeking re-election. Mazzochi made the announcement to York Township GOP officials at their most recent meeting, where she is a committeeman. Filings with the State Board of Elections show she has more than $200,000 in her war chest to date, most of it from a personal loan to her campaign.

Viator open house early this year

My alma mater, Saint Viator High School, will hold its open house a month earlier than last year -- from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the school, 1212 E. Oakton Street, Arlington Heights. Officials say it's because the Chicago Archdiocese moved up the date for local entrance exams. For information, email Jkuffel@archchicago.org.

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