Iran General NewsGerman jailed for six years for selling rocket material...

German jailed for six years for selling rocket material to Iran

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ImageDPA: A German businessman was jailed Monday for six years after admitting he sold Iran 16 tons of high-grade graphite to make rocket nozzles.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

ImageKoblenz, Germany – A German businessman was jailed Monday for six years after admitting he sold Iran 16 tons of high-grade graphite to make rocket nozzles.

Judges in the western city of Koblenz said they were satisfied he illicitly shipped the product to Iran via Turkey between 2005 and 2007. The trade stopped when alert Turkish customs officers halted trucks hauling another 10 tons of graphite.

The 63-year-old man broke laws preventing illicit arms exports by declaring the graphite to be of low grade.

Since 2007, even exports of low-grade graphite to Iran have required a government security clearance.

German intelligence suspects the graphite was bought for Iran's missile programme. Tehran is suspected of secretly developing nuclear weapons which could be delivered as the payload of the medium and long-range missiles.

Rocket nozzles are often made of graphite, a form of carbon.

The accused was chief executive of a firm that specialized in trading graphite.

The man has been in custody since last June. The long jail term was recommended by the prosecution.

His name has been withheld under privacy guidelines applied to the German media.

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