[Ed. – The timeframe of the smuggling was 2008-2013. A question I have, given a quick read on the nature of the evidence, is why this wasn’t flagged at the time. The materials were on an export-control list under existing U.S. law. Do we have an enforcement problem? Or is the right question, rather, DID we have an enforcement problem?]
An Iranian national was caught by the Trump administration attempting to smuggle materials that can be used to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, out of the U.S., according to the Justice Department.
Behzad Pourghannad allegedly attempted to smuggle carbon fiber out of America and ship it to Tehran. Pourghannad was arrested in May 2017 in Germany and later extradited to the U.S. He arrived in America on Monday. On Tuesday, the Justice Department unsealed a three-count indictment charging Pourghannad and two others in the plot to export the sensitive nuclear materials.
Ali Reza Shokri and Farzin Faridmanesh, the two alleged conspirators, remain at large.
“Pourghannad is alleged to have sought to procure for Iran large amounts of carbon fiber—a commodity that can be used in the enrichment of uranium,” Assistant Attorney General Demers said in a statement.