A major case involving three Iranian citizens who for years allegedly smuggled nuclear related materials into Iran from a US brokerhas been revealed this week in a New York federal court.
The scheme involved illegally exporting “many tons” of carbon fiber out of the United States between 2008 and 2013, which federal prosecutors say violated existing US sanctions and a UN embargo, given the direct military and nuclear use capability of the substance.
One of the three accused, Behzad Pourghannad, was successfully extradited from Germany but the other two, Ali Reza Shokri and Farzin Faridmanesh, remain at large. The conspiracy involved an unidentified broker shipping the banned substance out of the US to Iran via third parties in Europe and the UAE, while paperwork was fabricated to circumvent US export laws.
In a statement, US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman described that, “Carbon fiber has many aerospace and defense applications, and is strictly controlled to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Pourghannad and his co-defendants allegedly went to great lengths to circumvent these controls and the United States’ export laws. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect our nation’s assets and protect our national security.” – READ MORE