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Illegal Arms Sales to Iran

An indictment was announced yesterday naming two naturalized citizens, one originally from Iran and the other originally from Romania, charging them with selling U.S.-made parts for fighter jets and attack helicopters to buyers in Iran in violation of the Emergency Economic Powers Act, the United States Iran Embargo, and the Arms Export Control Act.

Hassan Saied Keshari, 48, of Novato, Calif., and Traian Bujduveanu, 53, of Plantation, Fla., face between five and 20 years in prison if convicted of violating arms export laws and circumventing the U.S. embargo against Iran.

Prosecutors said Keshari, an Iranian who became a naturalized U.S. citizen, acted as the middleman between aircraft parts buyers in Iran and Bujduveanu, one of his suppliers. A Romanian by birth, Bujduveanu is also a naturalized U.S. citizen, they said.

"In essence, they are charged with helping Iran build up its military," said U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of Miami.

These two individuals were selling parts for F-14’s, F-4’s, C-130’s, as well as for Chinook and attack helicopters. According to ICE the Iranians depend on a network of brokers and suppliers around the World to find the parts that it needs to keep its military operating. They say that individually, each part is relatively harmless, but are also critical to the operation of the equipment.

In recent months there have been 17 instances of American citizens (residents) selling critical technology to Iran. The simple question that should be asked is whether these people try to circumvent the laws against selling critical technology to our enemies (I guess Iran isn’t a declared enemy at the moment) for profit or disloyalty to the United States, and whether they act out of arrogance or stupidity. As experience proves, they will be discovered and indicted, and then, as the two men will find, will be imprisoned.