Two networks of alleged Iranian operatives were indicted for attempts to procure and exports US weapons technology to Tehran, the US Department of Justice announced on Wednesday, and four connected companies were designated for sanctioning by the US Treasury Department on Tuesday.

The schemes would have supported Iran’s ballistic missile, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and weapons programs, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The defendants at large

Between 2012 and 2013, Iranian citizen Amanallah Paidar and Turkish citizen Murat Bükey conspired to secure a device to test fuel cells and a bio-detection system that has application in weapons of mass destruction research. The two planned to use their respective companies, Farazan Industrial Engineering and Ozon Spor Ve Hobbi Ürünleri to ship the equipment to Iran through Turkey. Farazan and Ozone were also used by Paidar and Bukey in the past to purchase European turbine engines for drones and surface-to-air missiles.

Paidar, according to the US Treasury Department, served as a commercial manager and procurement agent for Defense Technology and Science Research Center (DTSRC). The Iran-based DTSRC is subordinate to and majority-owned by the Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL). Paidar has attempted to gather UAV systems for DTSRC, such as inertial measurement units and attitude and heading reference systems.

Paidar remains a fugitive at large, but Bükey was extradited from Spain in 2022, and after pleading guilty and was sentenced to 28 months in prison.

Paidar, Bukey, their companies, DTSRC, and MODFAL were designated for sanctions by the US Treasury on Tuesday.

Paidar had also worked with Iranian citizen Asghar Mahmoudi, and his company Selin Technic Co to secure equipment secure equipment such as thermal imaging cameras and computer systems the Treasury explained in its sanctions announcement. He was also provided equipment to MODAFL drone developers Qods Aviation Industries and Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company. QAI is allegedly being controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Mahmoudi was indicted, alongside alleged co-conspirators Iranian Bahram Mahmoudi Mahmoud Alilou and Emirati Shahin Golshani for operations between 2005 and 2009. The three allegedly attempted to obtain a high-speed camera with nuclear and ballistic missile testing applications, landing gear for a Northrop F-5 fighter jet and a meteorological sensor system.

The defendants, all fugitives at large, used their companies the Iran-based Aran Modern Devices Kish Company, and UAE-based Modern Technologies for the conspiracy.

“The defendants’ efforts to unlawfully export advanced US technology that could benefit the Iranian regime’s military and weapons of mass destruction research pose a threat to all Americans,” said Justice Department National Security Division Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen. “The Justice Department will steadfastly pursue and bring to justice anyone who violates US export laws and harm our nation’s security.”

“Iran’s well-documented proliferation of UAVs and conventional weapons to its proxies continues to undermine both regional security and global stability,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States will continue to expose foreign procurement networks in any jurisdiction that supports Iran’s military industrial complex.”

“The sentencing of Murat Bukey and the charging of four others with conspiring to illegally export technologies and goods to Iran demonstrates our determination to hold those who attempt to circumvent US export laws and sanctions accountable,” said Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI Washington Field Office.

Source » jpost