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Leaked documents suggest Huawei violated Iran sanctions

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer

Internal documents reviewed by Reuters show that Huawei shipped computer equipment made by Hewlett-Packard to Iran's largest mobile operator in 2010. The documents provide strong evidence that Huawei was involved in alleged trade sanction violations. They could potentially be used to strengthen the United States' multifaceted case against Huawei.

Early last year, the US charged Huawei with violating sanctions on Iran and stealing trade secrets. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently added more trade-secret theft charges to the case, and Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is facing separate charges for allegedly committing fraud to bypass the Iran sanctions.

Huawei has pushed back. The company accused the US of political persecution and "using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company." These new findings, however, could undermine Huawei's rebuttal and bolster the DOJ's case.

The newly obtained records also show that Panda International Information Technology Co. was involved in acquiring sanctioned hardware and software for Iran. According to Reuters, Panda International has longstanding ties to Huawei and is controlled by a Chinese state-owned company.

"Due to ongoing legal proceedings, it is not appropriate for Huawei to comment at this time," a Huawei spokesman told Reuters. "Huawei is committed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including all export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, U.S., and EU."