US senators demand probe of Huawei-Iran deals

US Senators are demanding that further action is taken against the dealings of Huawei in Iran, with a recommendation to the State Department to investigate the firm’s existing contracts.

The Chinese telco and hardware giant has been accused of supplying equipment in Iran which is used to aid a repressive regime.  The firm had voluntarily agreed to restrict its deals in the country early last month, but now a letter demanding further investigation has been released to Bloomberg.

Following accusations that its telecoms equipment was being used by mobile networks in Iran, Huawei agreed to adhere to sanctions. It wouldn’t ink any more deals.

That has not been enough to satisfy US lawmakers, who don’t believe that its existing contracts are kosher.

Huawei has a less than squeaky-clean image. The US is keen to highlight its links with the Chinese government. However, the States hasn’t had the most impressive record either, with one senator attempting to pass a Global Online Freedom Act to stop US firms such as Cisco and IBM from engaging in deals which raise censorship concerns.

Indeed, the US government is trying its best to censor its own networks at the moment, with politicians desperately pushing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which critics say will do little to stop piracy but a lot to impact freedom of the web.

Regardless, Huawei is in for a rough ride, despite its assertions that it has done no wrong in Iran.

In December the firm made a statement on its website claiming its business in Iran has been “in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including those of the UN, US and EU”.

The six senators are urging an investigation into whether the existing contracts go against sanctions launched in 2010.

“One of the fundamental principles governing Huawei’s global operations is to be in strict compliance with all relevant international and local laws and regulations, including applicable U.S. laws and regulations,” a Huawei spokesperson told TechEye.

“Unfortunately, a few Members of Congress continue to cite inaccurate media reports that include groundless allegations and errors of fact.”