USA v. Pourghannad, Ali Reza Shokri, et al.
A three-count indictment unsealed July 16, 2019, charged Ali Reza Shokri, Behzad Pourghannad and Farzin Faridmanesh with exporting carbon fiber from the United States to Iran. Pourghannad, an Iranian national, was arrested on those charges on May 3, 2017, in Germany and was extradited to the U.S. Between 2008 and July 2013, Pourghannad, Shokri and Faridmanesh lived and worked in Iran. During that period, they worked together to obtain carbon fiber from the U.S. and surreptitiously export it to Iran via third countries. In particular, Shokri worked to procure many tons of carbon fiber from the U.S.; Pourghannad agreed to serve as the financial guarantor for large carbon fiber transactions; and Faridmanesh agreed to serve as the trans-shipper. Carbon fiber has a wide variety of uses, including in missiles, aerospace engineering, and gas centrifuges that enrich uranium. Pourghannad pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years. Shokri and Faridmanesh remain at liberty.