An Iranian partner of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei tried to sell restricted U.S. antenna equipment to an Iranian firm, Reuters has reported.
According to the Reuters report, recently revealed documents indicate Soda Gostar Persian Vista, a Tehran-based supplier of Huawei equipment, offered to sell 36 cell tower antennas made by an American company to an Iranian telecoms firm.
The firm, MTN Irancell, said it had requested German manufactured equipment, which has no restrictions, but Soda Gostar Persian Vista offered U.S.-made antennas by mistake. The company said it cancelled the transaction before any equipment was delivered.
Although Iran has been banned from acquiring American technology for the past six years, China has not. Huawei has an agreement with U.S. firm, CommScope, which owns antenna-maker Andrew LLC, to buy equipment it then uses to make Huawei systems.
Huawei released a statement stating the firm follows U.S. law and expects partners such as Soda Gostar “to follow applicable law” as well.
“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,” Huawei spokesman Vic Guyang was quoted by Reuters.
Meanwhile, Huawei Australia chairman John Lord has proposed the construction of a cyber security test center in Australia to test telecom equipment for risks and vulnerabilities.
It would be a move similar to that which Huawei took in Britian — providing product source codes to security agencies in order to supply BT with telecom gear.
Lord’s Oct. 25 proposal is in response to a number of countries, including the U.S. and Australia, viewing the Chinese company’s equipment as a potential security risk.
A U.S. congressional report released Oct. 8 dissuaded U.S. businesses from buying equipment from Huawei and fellow Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.
The House Intelligence Committee said neither firm has adequately answered concerns broached continually by lawmakers over the capability of the companies to spy on American companies or individuals. Neither Huawei nor ZTE convinced the committee they could not be swayed by the Chinese government to assist in its espionage efforts.
The report also recommends the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), a government panel that scrutinizes foreign contracts for security issues, oppose future business dealings concerning Huawei or ZTE and U.S. firms.
Huawei, in just 25 years, has become the largest manufacturer of fourth generation communication networks, known as 4G, the latest technology for moving high volumes of phone calls, data, and high definition video. The company produces everything from Smartphones to routers.
Huawei, headquartered in Shenzhen, not far from Hong Kong, is a private company that, apparently, is owned by its 140,000 employees.
Huawei and ZTE have both refuted the claims.