ZTE to stop looking for new customers in Iran

HONG KONG, March 27 Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:38am EDT

HONG KONG, March 27 (Reuters) - ZTE Corp , China's second largest telecommunications equipment maker, said on Tuesday it is no longer seeking to expand in Iran.

"ZTE has provided standard communications and network solutions to Iran on a small scale," the Shenzhen-based company said in a statement.

"However, due to local issues in Iran and its complicated relationship with the international community, ZTE has restricted its business practices in the country since 2011. ZTE no longer seeks new customers in Iran and limits business activities with existing customers."

Last week, ZTE executives told Reuters they were curtailing their business in Iran, after Reuters reported that it entered a 98.6 million euro ($130.6 million) contract with the Telecommunication Co of Iran in December 2010.

The contract had included a surveillance system capable of monitoring telephone and Internet communications, sources said.

Iran has come under global sanctions due to allegations that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons -- a claim that the country has denied.

ZTE joins other telecom equipment providers, such as Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens, as well as Huawei Technologies in limiting its business in Iran. (Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by David Cowell)

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