Washington (CNN) — A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia has indicted two people for their alleged attempts to supply Iran with U.S. materials for gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, the Justice Department said Friday.
The indictment charges Parviz Khaki, an Iranian citizen, and Zongcheng Yi, a resident of China, each with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by conspiring to export the goods without the required license.
Both also face one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of smuggling, two counts of illegally exporting U.S. goods to Iran in violation of IEEPA and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the Justice Department said.
Khaki, 43, was arrested in the Philippines in May. Yi remains at large.
“This new indictment shows that we have no tolerance for those who try to traffic in commodities that can be used to support Iran’s nuclear program,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a statement. “It also underscores our commitment to aggressively enforcing export laws.”
As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran has the right, like other countries, to enrich uranium for commercial and research reactors. But the same facilities that are used for peaceful enrichment can be used to enrich uranium for a bomb. That’s what many Western countries suspect Iran is doing.
Iran insists its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.
If convicted, Khaki and Yi could face up to 20 years in prison for conspiring to violate IEEPA, five years for conspiring to defraud the United States, 10 years for each smuggling count, 20 years for each exporting count and 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
- British Spymaster Says Iran 2 Years From Nuclear Bomb (nytimes.com)
- Panetta report on Iran’s military capabilities stirs Republican criticism of Obama – FOX News (foxnews.com)
- Philippines news Cyber war on Iran has only just begun (technology.inquirer.net)
- MI6 chief: Iran to have nuke arms in 2014 (upi.com)
- US tightens sanctions Iran over nuclear programme – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Iran submarine plan may fuel Western nuclear worries (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
- Obama Piles New Sanctions Against Iran (ipsnews.net)
- Iran Detects ‘Massive Cyberattack’ On Its Nuclear Facilities (ibtimes.com)
- ‘Iran has enough uranium for 5 bombs’ (iranaware.com)
- Iran plans to expand, not suspend, its nuclear program, position paper obtained by Times of Israel says (timesofisrael.com)