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US Charges China’s Largest Telecom Firm For Violating Iran Sanctions

Tuesday, 08/09/2022

The US Department of Commerce has charged China’s largest telecommunication company Far East Cable of helping another company hide its dealings with Iran in violation of sanctions.

According to a document released on Monday, the Bureau of Industry and Security Office of Export Enforcement issued an administrative charging letter against Far East Cable on July 29, 2022. 

"The Charging Letter alleges that Far East Cable signed contracts with Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE), and Iranian telecommunications companies to deliver US-origin equipment to Iran as part of an effort to conceal and obfuscate ZTE’s Iranian business from US investigators," the document read, charging Far East Cable with 18 violations of Export Administration Regulations.

From September 2014 to January 2016, Far East Cable served as a cutout between ZTE which was under investigation by the US government for connections with Iranian telecommunications companies. 

In March 2017, ZTE pleaded guilty for its conduct related to these charges and broader violations of US export controls. ZTE paid a combined penalty of $1.19 billion in criminal and administrative fines at the time.

In July, the US Treasury issued sanctions on a new array of individuals and entities that help the Islamic Republic of Iran sell its petroleum and petrochemical products, and in June, the US sanctioned several Chinese, Emirati and Iranian firms over exporting the country’s petrochemicals.

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