Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Man Charged for Purchasing Military Equipment for Iran

You can rest easy. After a short break from my blog I am back so the three people that read this from time to time will have something new to look at.

DoJ issued a press release today detailing charges against an Iranian man that purchased military equipment from American companies for distribution back to Iran. U.S. authorities believe that Ali Khoshnevisrad purchased both helicopter engines and aerial panorama cameras from the U.S. and then illegally exported them to Iran, which is forbidden by U.S. law. He accomplished this in two ways. He purchased the helicopter engines in the U.S. then shipped them to Malaysia where they were then forwarded on to Iran. In the case of the cameras, he purchased them here and then had a Dutch company say that the cameras were to be shipped to the Netherlands. Once they were shipped there the Dutch company forwarded them on to Iran.

Evidence shows that the accused was working for the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company ("HESA"). The press release says that this company is involved in providing materials for Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear program.

I draw attention to this case because I've given a lot of attention to the detainee issues on this blog, but not other national security related issues. I think that cases like this are often overlooked as threats to our national security. In this case you have a man dealing with legitimate businesses to procure advanced products that can have military use. After September 11th we think of terrorism (i.e. people with guns and bombs killing unsuspecting civilians) as the real threat, and while it is true that run of the mill terrorists are a major threat, other more low key activities can be just as much a threat. Equipping unfriendly countries such as Iran with U.S. miliitary technology is serious especially given some of those countries' connection to terrorist groups

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