Internal company documents show that Huawei Technologies Co., China’s largest smartphone maker, played a direct role in shipping American equipment to Iran, violating U.S. sanctions on Iran despite the company’s denials.
The Chinese tech giant shipped equipment made by California-based Hewlett-Packard Co. to Iran’s largest mobile-phone carrier, according to two Huawei packing lists from December, 2010, Reuters reported.
“Currently the equipment is delivered to Tehran, and waiting for the custom clearance,” a document from two months later states.
The documents are a new development that will likely affect the U.S. government’s criminal case against Huawei brought last year. The federal government charged Huawei with a slew of crimes including conspiracy, money laundering, bank and wire fraud, flouting U.S. sanctions on Iran, and obstruction of justice. Huawei has denied the charges.
Huawei is also accused of providing Iran with equipment from other American companies, including Microsoft.
“Due to ongoing legal proceedings, it is not appropriate for Huawei to comment at this time,” said a Huawei spokesman about the new documents. “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.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have warned for months about the various threats Huawei poses to American infrastructure and intellectual property and have urged other countries not to invest in the Chinese company.
U.S. officials warned earlier this month that Huawei has for over a decade been able to use a backdoor method intended only for law enforcement to gain access to U.S. cellular networks and private information without the knowledge of the networks.
In November, the Federal Communications Commission blocked Huawei from accessing billions of dollars in federal broadband subsidies over concerns that Huawei could use its inroads into American broadband infrastructure to spy on and steal the private data of Americans, as well as to inject viruses and other malware into U.S. networks.
Huawei is protected by China’s Communist party, with whom the Trump administration has been locked in trade battles as well as disputes over China’s theft of American intellectual property for the last several years.