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Cisco Axes ZTE Relationship Over Alleged Violations of U.S. Sanctions

Cisco Systems has axed its partnership with ZTE Corp., a China-based telecom equipment maker accused of selling Cisco’s gear to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Cisco’s move comes several months after Reuters began documenting ZTE’s sales of Cisco and other U.S. companies’ products to Iran’s biggest telecom provider. According to the latest fact sheet from the Near Eastern Affairs bureau of the U.S. State Department, the federal government "has long-standing concerns over Irans nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and human rights record. Numerous sanctions have been imposed on Iran by the United States…"

ZTE told Reuters it’s "communicating with Cisco" and "actively cooperating with the U.S. government." Reuters said its series of articles sparked internal probes within Cisco, as well as investigations the U.S. Commerce Department, the FBI and a congressional committee. In fact, earlier this week, an intelligence committee report called for ZTE and Huawei to be shut out of the U.S. market over security fear.

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