US: Man pleads guilty to trying to export missile parts to IranA California man pleaded guilty in Chicago on Thursday to a felony charge of trying to illegally export missile parts to Iran,
which the United States says is working to build nuclear weapons.
Andro Telemi, 42, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine. He pleaded guilty without entering into an agreement
with the government.
Telemi, a naturalized US citizen from Iran, had been indicted in
2009 along with Iranian national Davoud Baniameri, 39, also of
California. Baniameri pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to four
years in prison.
The United States
prohibits US citizens from business dealings with the government of
Iran, and has recently put in place new harsh penalties for banks that
deal with the nation. Congressional negotiators are working on new
sanctions aimed at further restricting Iran's oil revenues.
Iran's relations with the United States have been strained since an
Islamic revolution toppled the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979 and
Shi'ite Muslim militants seized the US embassy and took 52 Americans
hostage for 444 days.
The United States
says all options are the table to prevent Iran from building a nuclear
weapon. Tehran says it is developing nuclear technology only for
'National security threatened'
According to the Telemi's plea and court records, Baniameri contacted
Telemi sometime before Aug. 17, 2009, to ask for help in buying and
exporting 10 connector adapters for anti-tank guided missile systems to
Iran via Dubai. Telemi agreed and they negotiated the purchase from an
Illinois company, not knowing that it was controlled by law enforcement.
Telemi knew he needed a license from the US government to export the
adapters, and did not have one, according to the US Attorney's office.
"Our national security is threatened when anyone attempts to
illegally export restricted military components that could fall into the
wrong hands," Gary J. Hartwig, special agent-in-charge of Homeland
Security Investigations in Chicago, said in a statement.
An attorney for Telemi was not immediately available for comment.
A third defendant, Syed Majid Mousavi, an Iranian citizen, remains a
fugitive and is believed to be in Iran, according to the US Attorney's
Published: 07.26.12, 22:03
Original Web Article
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