Iran General NewsBriton Indicted for Iran Exports

Briton Indicted for Iran Exports

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Washington Post: A British national once convicted of smuggling into Iran steel used to make nuclear weapons has been indicted in Washington on charges of illegally exporting new materials to Iran. A grand jury indicted Ali Asghar Manzarpour, 43, on Thursday on charges of violating the U.S. Iranian export embargo, charges that were unsealed by a federal judge yesterday. Washington Post
Suspect Accused of Violating Embargo on New Materials

By Carol D. Leonnig

A British national once convicted of smuggling into Iran steel used to make nuclear weapons has been indicted in Washington on charges of illegally exporting new materials to Iran.

A grand jury indicted Ali Asghar Manzarpour, 43, on Thursday on charges of violating the U.S. Iranian export embargo, charges that were unsealed by a federal judge yesterday. Manzarpour was arrested by Polish authorities on Feb. 17 at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities, who had been tracking his movements.

Manzarpour, of Brighton, England, served nine months in jail after he was convicted in 1998 in Britain of attempting to illegally export three-quarters of a ton of super-strength steel from the United States to Iran. The material was believed to have been headed for use in Iranian construction of nuclear weapon centrifuges.

Manzarpour, who British authorities said had been working with the Iranian nuclear program for a decade, used his wife’s maiden name to order the steel from a company in South Carolina.

According to the new indictment papers, Manzarpour started purchasing U.S. goods in 2000, soon after serving his sentence in Britain, and continued through 2004. The charges stem from his attempts to transport an experimental single-engine plane from the United States to Britain, and then to Iran. Also, according to affidavits from immigration agents, Manzarpour four times obtained electrical components from U.S. companies and shipped them to Iran through Austria.

In none of the instances did Manzarpour obtain the required licenses, according to the indictment.

“In the post 9/11 world, keeping sensitive U.S. technology out of the wrong hands has never been more important,” said Michael J. Garcia, an assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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