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Huawei partner linked with embargo-breaking deal in Iran

Huawei is in hot water over its dealings with Iran once again. A report from Reuters claimed that one of Huawei's partners offered to sell HP products to Iran, in violation of current trade embargoes.

According to Reuters, a Huawei partner, Skycom Tech, offered to sell 1.3 million euros worth of HP equipment to Mobile Telecommunication Co. of Iran (MCI). The deal didn't actually go through, but Reuters said the news highlights "how Chinese companies have been willing to help Iran evade trade sanctions."

In a statement, a Huawei spokeswoman characterised the proposal as a "bidding document."

"Huawei's business in Iran is in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including those of the U.N., U.S. and E.U.," she said. "This commitment has been carried out and followed strictly by our company. Further, we also require our partners to follow the same commitment and strictly abide by the relevant laws and regulations."

In a statement, HP said that "Huawei has a business relationship with HP, including an OEM relationship where Huawei incorporates HP products into their offerings."

"HP has an extensive control system in place to ensure our partners and resellers comply with all legal and regulatory requirements involving system security, global trade and customer privacy and the company's relationship with Huawei is no different," HP continued.

"HP's distribution contract terms prohibit the sale of HP products into Iran and require compliance with U.S. and other applicable export laws," the company said. "As part of our due diligence, HP closely monitors the activities of its distributors and conducts frequent audits of its distributors worldwide to ensure compliance with trade compliance and other legal obligations."

The report comes several months after the US House Intelligence Committee said US companies and government officials should be wary of doing business with ZTE and Huawei because the firms might be using their entrance into the US market as a way to spy for the Chinese government.

The report accused ZTE and Huawei of being uncooperative and unwilling to provide details about how they plan to operate within the US. As a result, US officials said they were concerned that these firms might be using seemingly legitimate business ventures to install software that could be used to spy on or remotely disable US networks and infrastructure.

"The failure of these companies to provide responsive answers about their relationships with and support by the Chinese government provides further doubt as to their ability to abide by international rules," the committee said in its report.

Last year, Huawei confirmed that it "provides a mobile news delivery platform to MTN Irancell," but denied that it was involved with the content provided on the network.

"Most importantly, we have absolutely no technology that can be used for news censorship," Huawei said at the time.