Iranian Charged With Illegal Nuclear Shipments Via China

An Iranian and a Chinese resident were charged with conspiring to sell uranium and cobalt to Iran, and successfully shipping lathes and alloy wire, using a Chinese company to evade U.S. export controls.

Parviz Khaki, 43, an Iranian citizen arrested in the Philippines in May, and Zongcheng Yi, who prosecutors called a “purported” managing director of Monalila Co. in Guangzhou City, China, allegedly tried to ship a specialty steel, aluminum alloy rods, mass spectrometers, radioactive chemicals and other products from the U.S. to Iran in violation of a U.S. embargo.

The men were accused today in a federal indictment in Washington of using Yi’s company as an intermediary for the products between October 2008 and January 2011.

Khaki and Yi were charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., two counts of smuggling, two counts of illegally exporting U.S. goods to Iran, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each faces a maximum of 105 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Khaki remains in custody in the Philippines and Yi is still at large, according to a Justice Department statement. No attorney was listed in court documents as representing either man.

“By dismantling this complex conspiracy to deliver nuclear-related materials from the U.S. to Iran, we have disrupted a significant threat to national security,” said John Morton, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

An undercover federal agent became involved with Khaki and Yi’s operation in March 2009, according to the indictment. The agent claimed to have experience exporting products out of the U.S. illegally.

Khaki allegedly contacted him to help arrange the illegal exports, prosecutors said.

Today’s indictment follows charges filed in federal court in Manhattan yesterday against another Iranian national accused of illegally exporting $390,000 worth of industrial parts to Dubai and sending them on to Iran.

The case is U.S. v. Khaki, 12-cr-00061, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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