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U.S. Reportedly Investigating Alleged Iran Sanctions Violations By China's Huawei

A Huawei driverless car

The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into suspected violations of Iran sanctions by China's Huawei Technologies, U.S. media reported on April 25.

The Justice Department probe comes after subpoenas were issued to the company by the U.S. Commerce and Treasury departments over sanctions-related issues, according to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other media, which cited anonymous officials.

Reuters reported that since at least 2016, U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei's alleged shipping of U.S.-origin products to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions law.

It said the probe of Huawei is similar to one that China's ZTE Corp. says is now threatening its survival. The United States last week banned U.S. firms from selling parts and software to ZTE for seven years.

Washington imposed nearly $1 billion of fines on ZTE for allegedly illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran.

Huawei -- one of the world's largest telecommunications equipment and service providers -- has been under scrutiny in the United States because of its alleged close links to the Chinese government, which U.S. officials say make it a security risk.

The company's U.S. business has been tightly constrained by worries it could undermine U.S. competitors and that its cell phones and networking equipment, used widely in other countries, could provide Beijing with avenues for espionage.

Last month, U.S. regulators proposed restricting small telecom carriers from purchasing "equipment or services from companies that pose a national security threat."

Huawei spokesman Charles Zinkowski said in a statement that the company "complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including the applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, U.S., and EU."

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters