AFP: Federal prosecutors on Monday indicted two men on charges of illegally trading with Iran since 2002, the US Department of Justice reported.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Federal prosecutors on Monday indicted two men on charges of illegally trading with Iran since 2002, the US Department of Justice reported.
Mohammad Reza Vaghari, 41, of Broomal, Pennsylvania and 42-year-old Mir Hossein Ghaemi of Edgewood, Maryland were charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
The federal law allows US law enforcement to identify threats originating from outside the United States and freeze assets or block transactions in response.
The defendants operated in the United States through Saamen Company, a corporation based in Pennsylvania.
According to the indictment, Vaghari and Ghaemi would purchase items from American companies before exporting them to the United Arab Emirates, where co-conspirators delivered the products to customers in Iran. The FBI and the Department of Commerce are investigating the case.
Vaghari also was charged with making false statements in an attempt to obtain US citizenship and for possessing fraudulent immigration documents.
If convicted of all charges, Vaghari faces up to 85 years of prison and a 3,750,000 dollar fine while Ghaemi faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a 250,000 dollar fine.
The first use of the act occurred in 1979 during the Iran hostage crisis. The United States has since restricted commerce with Iran for subsequent sponsorship of terrorism.