Iranian pleads guilty in U.S. to smuggling nuclear tech

An Iranian citizen pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to charges that he attempted to facilitate smuggling nuclear technology to Iran in violation of U.S. laws.

Arash Sepehri, 38, faces a minimum of five years in prisons for trying to obtain and export to Iran high-resolution sonar equipment, data input boards, rugged laptops, acoustic transducers and other controlled technology from the U.S. without obtaining proper licenses and in violation of economic sanctions.

Sepehri was an employee and a member of the board of the Iranian company Tajhiz Sanat Shayan (TSS) according to court documents. TSS and other companies involved in the conspiracy were also listed by the European Union as entities sanctioned for their involvement in the procurement of components for the Iranian nuclear program.

“As stated in the court documents, Sepehri and his co-conspirators sought to evade legal controls through a variety of means, including the use of a variety of aliases, United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based front companies and an intermediary shipping company based in Hong Kong. Payments for the goods were arranged through the UAE,” read a statement from the Department of Justice.

Iran has a history of trying obtain illegal nuclear technology. Since the nuclear agreement was made with world powers in 2015, Iran tried to obtain nuclear, chemical, biological and missile-related technology from Germany in violation of the agreement.

Three German intelligence reports revealed the Islamic Republic made “32 procurement attempts…that definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation programs.”

Spanish police arrested four people suspected of attempting to export to Iran industrial machinery that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction, Clarion reported in 2014. The machinery involved dual-use equipment — products and technologies that can be used for both civilian and military applications – banned for export by the European Union.

Also in 2014, a founder of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards admitted for the first time Iran was seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

“We pursued ways in order to gain nuclear arms,” Gen. Mohsen Rafiqdoost told the regime’s Mehr News.

In the late 1980s, a letter written by Mohsen Rezaei, then chief commander of the Guards, was revealed. In the letter, Rezaei asked Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, for approval of the nuclear bomb program for Iran. The letter revealed Khomeini approved of the program, even though he later claimed the opposite.

Source » clarionrpoject

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