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Chinese telecoms giant ZTE probed by FBI over alleged Iran spy equipment sales

One News Page Staff
Friday, 13 July 2012

Chinese telecoms giant ZTE probed by FBI over alleged Iran spy equipment salesby

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into ZTE, the world's fourth-largest telecoms equipment maker based in China, over banned technology sales to Iran

DALLAS, TX -- The world's fourth-largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, ZTE, is being targeted by the FBI over alleged sales of spy technology to Iran.

The FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the Chinese telecoms firm which it alleges has sold banned technology including a powerful surveillance system capable of intercepting and logging internet communication as well as landline and cellular phone calls to Iran.

The U.S. currently has strict trade sanctions against Iran in place.

Reportedly the ZTE sales deal was worth $120 million and included U.S. technology products from HP, Cisco and Dell, sales of which are prohibited by the U.S. sanctions against Iran.

A Reuters report highlighted the powerful nature of the "surveillance" equipment. It quoted a telecommunications industry source as describing the equipment included in the ZTE order as being "far more capable of monitoring citizens than I have seen in other equipment".

The FBI investigation is understood to also include ZTE's alleged attempts to cover up the Iran sales deal and obstruct a Department of Commerce probe.
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