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Huawei partner accused of offering illegal US tech to Iranian telecoms firm

An Iranian partner of Chinese telecoms firm Huawei (opens in new tab) tried to sell prohibited US equipment to an Iranian firm, it was revealed today.

According to Reuters (opens in new tab), documents have emerged that show Soda Gostar Persian Vista, a Tehran-based supplier of Huawei equipment, offered to sell Iranian telecoms firm MTN Irancell tower antennas made by an American company.

Huawei has an agreement with American firm, CommScope (opens in new tab) to purchase equipment it then uses to make Huawei systems but Iran has been subject to sanctions on US technology since 2006.

MTN Irancell (opens in new tab) said it had requested German manufactured equipment not subject to sanctions but Huawei's Iranian partner Soda mistakenly offered US made antennas instead.

"This was later identified as an error and the order was cancelled with Huawei," said Paul Norman, spokesperson for MTN.

(opens in new tab)Huawei responded by releasing a statement saying that it complies with US law and requires its partners like Soda Gostar "to follow applicable law."

"We did not participate in the delivery of this project because Huawei has been and continues to be in strict compliance with all relevant international and local laws and regulations," said Vic Guyang, a Huawei spokesperson.

This month, the US House Intelligence Committee criticised Huawei for failing "to provide evidence to support its claims that it complies with all international sanctions or US export laws." It also accused the company alongside its Chinese competitor ZTE (opens in new tab) of being a national security threat stating that their equipment could be used by the Chinese government to spy on the US.

Huawei, which is the world's second-largest telecoms manufacturer, rejected the House report as unfair and inaccurate.