Iran General NewsIranian pleads guilty in illegal exports sting

Iranian pleads guilty in illegal exports sting

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AFP: An Iranian national has pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to illegally export US fighter jet parts to Iran, which he purchased from a US undercover agent, the Department of Justice has said.

WASHINGTON (AFP) — An Iranian national has pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to illegally export US fighter jet parts to Iran, which he purchased from a US undercover agent, the Department of Justice has said.

Omid Khalili was charged in January along with a co-conspirator still at large identified only as Masun. He was arrested in March on arrival in Miami — presumably from Iran — and pleaded guilty in a US District Court in Alabama.

For his nine-count indictment on conspiracy, money laundering, smuggling and violations of US laws banning sensitive exports to Iran, Khalili faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a one million dollar fine if convicted, the Justice Department said.

According to court documents, Khalili and Masun, while “actively working with the Iranian government to procure military items,” last year paid the undercover agent more than 70,000 dollars as a downpayment for military aircraft “parts to be shipped to Iran.”

The parts were for an aircraft sold to Iran before the 1979 Iranian revolution which is currently only in service with Iran’s Air Force, the Justice Department said, apparently referring to the F-14 Tomcat.

Designated as “defense articles,” the parts are on a US list of items banned for export without a license from both the State and Treasury Departments due to the US trade embargo on Iran.

“The defendants had not obtained the required US government export licenses for such exports,” the Justice Department said.

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