November 14, 2019

Iranian man sentenced to prison for conspiring to export carbon fiber to Iran

On November 13, 2019, Behzad Pourghannad, an Iranian citizen, was sentenced in US District Court to 46 months in prison for conspiring to circumvent US export controls on shipping carbon fiber from the US to Iran.  He pleaded guilty in August 2019 to one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.  According to the indictment and evidence presented, between 2008 and 2013, Pourghannad and two co-defendants worked to obtain carbon fiber – which can be used as a component in missiles and gas centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium — for export from the US to Tbilisi, Georgia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in order to re-ship the material to Iran.  Pourghannad is alleged to have served as the financial guarantor for the carbon fiber transactions, for which no license was obtained from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury. 

DOJ press release