US charges Iranian, Chinese on Iran enrichment

The United States on Friday announced charges against an Iranian citizen and Chinese resident for allegedly trying to export nuclear-related material to help Tehran enrich uranium.

One of the men, Iranian citizen Parviz Khaki, was also accused of conspiring to send radioactive material from the United States to customers in Iran, according to an indictment by a federal grand jury in Washington.

Khaki, 43, was arrested in May in the Philippines on request of the United States while the Chinese resident, Yi Zongcheng, remains at large. The two men both face decades in prison if convicted.

The Justice Department alleged that Khaki and Yi sought to obtain and export materials including maraging steel, aluminum alloys, mass spectrometers and vacuum pumps used in gas centrifuges to enrich uranium.

Western officials and Israel suspect that Iran is enriching uranium to build a nuclear weapon under the cover of a civilian energy program. The same facilities used for peaceful enrichment can serve to build a bomb.

"Today's indictment sheds light on the reach of Iran's illegal procurement networks and the importance of keeping US nuclear-related materials from being exploited by Iran," Assistant Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco said in a statement.

"Iranian procurement networks continue to target US and Western companies for technology acquisition by using fraud, front companies and middlemen in nations around the globe," she said.

Iran, which has faced punishing Western sanctions, insists that its nuclear work is for peaceful purposes.

US officials said that Khaki in December 2008 asked a person in China to obtain 20 tons of C-350 maraging steel -- known for superior strength suitable in gas centrifuges -- from the United States for his customers in Iran.

He then communicated with Yi in the following months about buying 20 tons of maraging steel from a US company with which Yi was in contact, according to the indictment.

As he sought more maraging steel, Khaki was said to have interacted with an undercover US federal agent who was posing as an illegal exporter.

"You know and I know this material (is) limited material and danger goods," Khaki allegedly told the undercover agent. He also discussed making money from the transaction, the indictment said.

In a May 2009 email to the undercover agent, Khaki said that one magnetic mass spectrometer he sought was meant to analyze a chemical compound used in the gas centrifuge process to enrich uranium, according to the indictment.

Khaki allegedly also got in touch with someone in China about obtaining 20 tons worth of aluminum alloy rods from the United States or Europe.

During one exchange, Khaki explained that the aluminum alloy had to be made in America because his Iranian customer had found that Chinese aluminum alloy was of poor quality, according to the indictment.

In addition, the indictment said that Khaki tried to obtain radioactive source materials from the United States, asking the undercover agent to procure barium-133, europium-152, cobalt-57 and cadmium-109 from a US firm.

The two men were successful in exporting lathes and nickel alloy 120 wire from the United States through China to Iran, according to the indictment.

Khaki, who also goes by "Martin," and Yi, known as "Kohler," were each charged with one count of conspiracy to export US goods without a proper license, which carries up to 20 years in prison.

If convicted, they also face 20 years for conspiracy to commit money laundering, 10 years for each of two smuggling counts, five years for conspiring to defraud the United States and another 20 years for each count under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"
    China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"

    By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday it was "strongly dissatisfied" after a U.S. military plane flew over part of the South China Sea near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident. The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which had a team on board …

  • 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena
    2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena

    The smell of burnt rubber and screeching tires are some of the highlights that will be seen at the most adrenaline-pumped drifting event of the year—the 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship series.   Held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, the event will be the biggest venue in the drifting competition. This is the […] The post 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • The Richest Senators In The Philippines
    The Richest Senators In The Philippines

    The 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth for politicians and public servants are now available for anyone to … The post The Richest Senators In The Philippines appeared first on iMoney.ph. …

  • PHILIPPINES PRESS-AirAsia Philippines seeks $500 mln valuation for IPO - Inquirer

    The Philippine unit of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Berhad is seeking a valuation of at least $500 million for its initial public offering set within the next two years, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ... …

  • Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot
    Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot

    A 39-year-old information technology consultant, whose job contract will expire this month, has claimed his share of the 6/45 Mega Lotto’s P17.8-million jackpot in its May 13 draw, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced yesterday. “I could not sleep for the past several days, thinking about where I could get the money to pay my children’s tuition,” the winner told PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II when he received a check for P5.9 million at the PCSO’s central …

  • Cager’s daughter: I will never drive again
    Cager’s daughter: I will never drive again

    Kim Asaytono vowed never to get behind the wheel again after she hit 14 people on Tuesday night and killed one of them. Even if she gets out of jail one day, the 22-year-old daughter of former Philippine Basketball Association player Nelson Asaytono said she no longer wants to drive. Maybe, I will still ride a car but I will never drive again,” she told The STAR in an interview in her jail cell at the Manila Police District headquarters. …

  • Disaster center to rise in Clark
    Disaster center to rise in Clark

    The private sector is set to build a disaster operations center near Clark international airport in Pampanga to strengthen the country’s preparedness against natural calamities. In his closing remarks during a two-day Earthquake Resilience Conference, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan said yesterday the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) would build the center that would serve as base for immediate response to a disaster. Pangilinan, co-chair of the PDRF, said the disaster …

  • China shoos away US plane in disputed sea
    China shoos away US plane in disputed sea

    The Chinese navy warned a US surveillance plane flying over artificial islands that Beijing is creating in the disputed South China Sea to leave the area eight times, according to CNN, which was on board the flight on Wednesday. The P8-A Poseidon, the US military’s most advanced surveillance aircraft, flew at 4,500 meters at its lowest point, CNN said. The incident, along with recent Chinese warnings to Philippine military aircraft to leave areas around the Spratly archipelago in the South …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options