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The Huawei threat: More stark than ever

| Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

If Washington needs further reason to deny China's Huawei Technologies direct entry to the U.S. market, it need look no further than Reuters reports documenting how it's among Chinese firms serving as “a backdoor for Iran to obtain embargoed U.S. computer equipment” — which can aid Iran's development of nuclear weapons.

Reuters' latest such report says Hong Kong-registered Huawei “partner” Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. offered Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Mobile Telecommunication Co. of Iran. That's despite sanctions forbidding such a sale.

That deal didn't go through. But it does fit a pattern that has prompted investigations by the Commerce and Justice departments and some U.S. tech companies.

The House Intelligence Committee says Huawei has failed to “provide evidence to support its claims that it complies with all international sanctions or U.S. export laws.” Add Huawei's ties to China's People's Liberation Army, heavy state subsidies and potential for intellectual-property theft, cyber espionage and cyber attacks on U.S. infrastructure and the Huawei threat is more stark than ever.

Other Chinese companies also have shown willingness to help Iran evade high-tech equipment sanctions. And Skycom is not the only Huawei “partner” to offer embargoed U.S. products to Iran's telecommunications industry.

Such deals degrade the effectiveness of sanctions critical to denying Iran the bomb it so badly wants, forming a loophole that America and its allies must close.

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