Dad and son are charged with illegally sending military technology to IRAN ‘for its hostile Islamist government to use’

Dad and son are charged with illegally sending military technology to IRAN ‘for its hostile Islamist government to use’

A father and son are charged with illegally sending military technology to the Iranian government, which the US designates as a state sponsor of terrorism. 

An indictment, filed Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn, charges Iranian father Abolfazl Bazzazi, 73, and his son Mohammad Resa Bazzazi, 43, with conspiring to illegally export US goods and technology to Iran and its government. 

The defendants, who are citizens of Iran, remain at large. If convicted, they can face up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment alleges the Bazzazis orchestrated an elaborate scheme aiming to evade US export laws in obtaining equipment and technology to be exported to Iran for the Government of Iran, said US Attorney Breon Peace in a press release.

Some of the technology the Bazzazis illegally exported include: aeronautical ground support equipment, UV-detectors and firefighting equipment.

A father and son are charged with illegally sending military technology to Iran, including to its government, which the US designates as a state sponsor of terrorism

A father and son are charged with illegally sending military technology to Iran, including to its government, which the US designates as a state sponsor of terrorism

An indictment, filed Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn, charges Iranian father Abolfazl Bazzazi, 73, and his son Mohammad Resa Bazzazi, 43, with conspiring to illegally export US goods and technology to Iran, including its Government

An indictment, filed Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn, charges Iranian father Abolfazl Bazzazi, 73, and his son Mohammad Resa Bazzazi, 43, with conspiring to illegally export US goods and technology to Iran, including its Government

Both Abolfazl and Mohammad served as ‘managing directors’ of an Iranian company that was not disclosed in the indictment. 

Iran has been designated by the United States government as a state sponsor of terrorism, with President Biden currently attacking Iranian-backed Houthis over the killings of three US Army personnel in Jordan. 

‘The defendants allegedly attempted to obtain commercial and military aircraft items from multiple US companies that supply the military, aerospace, and firefighting industries,’ he added. 

‘These charges demonstrate the resolve of this Office and the Department of Justice to prosecute those who seek to aid the Government of Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions.’ 

The US seeks forfeiture of any property belonging to the defendants, under Title 21.  

Assistant Attorney General Olsen highlighted the impact of the Disruptive Technology Strike Force, in strengthening enforcement and disrupting criminal schemes involving the smuggling of ‘highly-sensitive technology that foreign adversaries wield to advance their military and other malign agendas.’ 

‘The case announced today underscores the commitment of the Justice Department and our partners to disrupt illegal efforts to siphon off US ingenuity and to safeguard American security and innovation,’ said Olsen. 

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Dugan underscored intolerance for any ‘circumvention of US export control law is simply unacceptable’ and emphasized the FBI’s commitment to holding all accountable who jeopardize national security.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is pictured. Relations between his government and the United States have been in the deep freeze since 2018, when then-President Trump tore up an agreement brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is pictured. Relations between his government and the United States have been in the deep freeze since 2018, when then-President Trump tore up an agreement brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015

According to the indictment, between January 2008 and August 2019, the Bazzazis and their co-conspirators allegedly attempted to evade US sanctions and export laws by working to obtain goods and technology from US companies for end users in Iran, including the Government of Iran, without obtaining required licenses or other authorization from the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. 

Their acts were in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and with attempted smuggling of US goods and technology to Iran. 

The defendants reportedly tried to obtain components that could be used for commercial or military aircraft.

Additionally, they disguised the final destination of U.S. goods by attempting to forward them through intermediaries in Europe and elsewhere. 

Diplomatic relations between the US and Iran have been in the deep freeze since 2018, when Donald Trump tore up an agreement brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015. 

Iran’s support of Hamas has further heightened tensions with the US since last October’s massacre of 1,200 Israelis and the subsequent bombardment of Gaza by Israel.

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