Although China’s Huawei Technologies has been consistently denying for years that it has not violating American trade sanctions on Iran, internal documents from the company which dates back to 2010 show that it was directly involved in sending prohibited U.S. computer equipment to Iran’s largest mobile-phone operator.
As per internal documents from Huawei, two of its packing lists, which date back to December 2010, included computer equipment made by Hewlett-Packard Co and were destined for the Iranian carrier.
Further, another Huawei document, which were dates back two months later, reads “Currently the equipment is delivered to Tehran, and waiting for the custom clearance.”
These internal documents along with the packing lists are some or the strongest documentary evidence to date which support U.S. allegations and prove Huawei’s involvement in alleged trade sanctions violations.
These documents, are likely to further strengthen Washington’s multifaceted campaign to hold Huawei accountable for its deeds. The U.S. is also trying to persuade allies to avoid using Huawei equipment for developing their next-generation 5G mobile telecommunications systems.
These newly obtained documents involve a multi-million dollar telecommunications project in Iran that figures prominently in an ongoing criminal case that Washington has brought against the Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou- the daughter of Huawei’s founder. Meng is fighting an extradition from Canada to the United States since her arrest in Vancouver in December 2018.
Huawei and Meng have denied the charges, which involve bank fraud, wire fraud and other allegations.
Although these documents, aren’t cited in the criminal case, it provides fresh evidence and details Huawei’s role in providing an Iranian telecom carrier with numerous computer servers, switches and other equipment made by HP, as well as software made by other American companies, including Novell Inc, Microsoft Corp, and Symantec Corp.
“Huawei could thus attempt to claim ignorance with respect to any illegal act committed by Skycom on behalf of Huawei, including violations of” U.S. sanctions laws, states the indictment.
Huawei has described Skycom as its local business partner in Iran. Washington has named it as a defendant in its lawsuit against Huawei.
Records in Hong Kong, where Skycom was registered, show the firm was liquidated in June 2017.
Newly obtained records also show that another Chinese company Panda International Information Technology Co, which isn’t named in the U.S. indictment, was also involved in acquiring hardware and software for the Iranian project. Incidentally 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,” said Huawei’s spokesman in a response to observations which revolve around the newly obtained 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,” said Huawei’s spokesman.
Although Huawei continues to stone wall questions surrounding its involvements with Iran, newly obtained documents, which are more than 100 additional pages relating to Huawei’s project in Iran dating back to 2012 shows Huawei’s involvement in sending U.S. equipment to Iran.
An internal document shows that Huawei was deeply involved in the MCI expansion project. It states that on September 25, 2010, MCI asked Huawei to start the project.
“The equipment contract was signed,” states the document states, without providing details. As part of these documents, there is one which includes a “Bill of Quantity Quotation,” which dates back to 2010 that lists the equipment needed for the project. It was produced by Huawei and includes HP equipment, as well as server software made then by Microsoft, Novell and Symantec.
Newly obtained documents suggests that Huawei may have used Panda International to purchase hardware and software.
Panda International is controlled by China Electronics Corp, a Chinese state-owned tech company. Panda International’s website states that Panda has a “long and deep history with Huawei” that began in 2007.