AFP: The United States said Wednesday it is ready to arrange for a representative of the Iranian government to visit an Iranian man who was jailed for trafficking weapons to Tehran. WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States said Wednesday it is ready to arrange for a representative of the Iranian government to visit an Iranian man who was jailed for trafficking weapons to Tehran.
The State Department said the Iranian government — represented by Pakistan in Washington in the absence of US-Iranian diplomatic ties — has asked for consular access to Amir Ardebili, who was jailed for five years.
"The Department of State remains available to assist with arranging a prospective visit," the department said in a statement in response to a journalist's question.
Ardebili was sentenced, according to US court documents obtained by AFP on December 15, after he pleaded guilty in May 2008 to 14 counts of violating US arms control rules, following an international undercover operation.
Prosecutors in the northeastern US state of Delaware revealed earlier this month that he had been apprehended in an unnamed Central Asian country in October 2007 and extradited to the United States, where he had been secretly detained since January 2008.
Ardebili, described by prosecutors as a "prolific" arms dealer, was responsible for sending millions of dollars worth of weapon components to the Iranian government, in preparation for what he believed would be a coming war against the United States.