(RepublicanView.org) – Two men have been charged with procuring American technology information for the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. Court documents reveal that Hossein Hatefi Ardakani, an Iranian national, and alleged co-conspirator Gary Lam, who is based in China, were charged in a federal court in Washington, DC, for procuring microelectronics for Iran in 2015 and 2016.
In one instance, it is alleged that Ardakani and Lam “caused an unwitting French company” to purchase technology from the US and ship it to China, from where it was later sent to Iran. The technology included analog-to-digital converters, radar and satellite subsystems, and infrared imaging.
The charges claim that the defendants used a “sophisticated web of front companies” to “obscure the illicit acquisition of US and foreign technology.”
The men face several charges, including conspiracy to engage in international money laundering and unlawfully exporting goods to Iran, which could result in a prison term of 20 years.
The Justice Department also announced that it had seized $800,000 from companies linked to the Revolutionary Guard and its aircraft program. “The funds are subject to seizure based on violations of US law, including US economic sanctions targeting Iran and money laundering violations,” the Department said.
Since the rise of the Islamic Republic in 1979, the US has applied various sanctions on Iran, including economic, trade, scientific, and military. Under the Obama administration, America pulled back some of its sanctions in exchange for promises that the Islamic regime would place limitations on its nuclear program. Donald Trump, however, enacted the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, reimposing sanctions on Iran as well as Russia and North Korea.
The sanctions relationship since then is complex, but President Joe Biden said in 2021 that he would not lift sanctions imposed by Trump unless Iran fulfilled its nuclear commitments. Iran said it would only do so if America lifted economic sanctions first.
America imposed new sanctions in 2023 in response to the police killing of women’s rights activist Mahsa Amini.
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