By: Danielle Hatch
Behzad Pourghannad, a 65 year old Iranian citizen, plead guilty last month to one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). According to his plea, between 2008 and 2013, Pourghannad and his two codefendants, Ali Reza Shokri and Farzin Faridmanesh (all lived and worked in Iran) worked together to purchase carbon fiber from the US and then export it to Iran via transshipments through Europe, Dubai and UAE.
Shhokri was in charge of procuring the carbon fiber from the US, Pourghannad served as the financial guarantor for the transactions, and Faridmanesh was the trans-shipper. In order to conceal the shipments of carbon fiber from being detected by the US government, shipping labels would reference acrylic instead of the actual contents of carbon fiber. In 2009 one of the shipments was stopped by non-US authorities before it could be trans-shipped to Iran.
At no point was an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) approval sought out for the transactions. Pourghannad faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and will be sentenced in December 2019. Shokri and Faridmanesh remain free.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and Shokri and Faridmanesh are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Full Justice Department Release: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/iranian-businessman-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-violate-us-sanctions-exporting-carbon-fiber