U.S. accuses Chinese company of helping ZTE hide business with Iran -Commerce Dept

By Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States on Tuesday accused Far East Cable, China’s largest wire and cable manufacturer, of violating U.S. export controls related to shipments to Iran, the Commerce Department said.

Far East Cable entered into an agreement in 2013 to buy equipment from Chinese telecomunications equipment maker ZTE Corp. and then contracted with Iranian companies to supply telecommunications equipment and parts, the Commerce Department said in a charging letter. It accused Far East Cable of 18 violations of U.S. export controls.

“As alleged, Far East Cable acted as a cutout for ZTE, facilitating ZTE shipments to Iran at the very time ZTE knew it was under investigation for the exact same conduct,” Commerce Department official John Sonderman said in a statement.

Far East Cable and ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In 2017, ZTE paid an $892 million penalty and pleaded guilty to shipping U.S. goods to Iran in violation of U.S. laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology. The company’s probation ended in March.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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