Behzad Pourghannad

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

Related Country: 

  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom

Involved in a conspiracy to illegally export U.S.-origin carbon fiber with missile, aerospace, and nuclear applications to Iran for use in Iran's weapons of mass destruction programs.

Charged on July 11, 2013, along with Ali Reza Shokri and Farzin Faridmanesh, with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and two counts of violation and attempted violation of the IEEPA; arrested in Germany in May 2017 and extradited to the United States; pleaded guilty on August 19, 2019, and sentenced on November 13, 2019 to 46 months in prison.

From 2008 to July 2013, participated in a conspiracy to export tons of carbon fiber from the United States to Iran, including for use in centrifuge rotors and nose cones for ballistic missiles; worked with Faridmanesh and on behalf of Shokri, who is part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC); Shokri worked with his business partner Hamid Reza Hashemi (assisted by Murat Taskiran) to transship carbon fiber from the United States to Hashemi's Iran-based company HB Composites; served as the financial guarantor for large transactions, while Shokri worked to procure the carbon fiber and Faridmanesh served as the transshipper.

In 2009, attempted to export and transship a large quantity of carbon fiber from the United States to Iran; received a signed contract for the purchase from a co-conspirator who arranged for procurement and transshipment of carbon fiber to Iran via the United Kingdom, but the cargo was seized by U.K. authorities.

In 2013, attempted to export and transship more than five tons of carbon fiber from the United States to Iran; worked with Shokri to negotiate with a co-conspirator for the purchase and shipment of carbon fiber and agreed that it would be sent through Tbilisi, Georgia, with Faridmanesh serving as the transshipper; labels on the shipment were switched from "carbon fiber" to "acrylic" or "polyester."

Attempted to move $70 million outside Iran to buy European petrochemical equipment; during recorded telephone conversations, claimed to have collaborated with Ali Karimian to import carbon fiber into Iran, according to U.S. court documents.

Has worked in Iran's oil and gas industry; has served as operating director and board chairman of Down Stream Petrochemical Product Development Industries and chief operating officer of Kimia Pars Middle East; considered for a position as manager of a carbon fiber factory by the government of Iran; has $1.2 million in assets in Iran, according to a statement he made to U.S. authorities; earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Mazandarin Technical University in 1975.

An Iranian national; 67 years old as of October 2020.

Enforcement Actions: 

Date Entered: 

December 29, 2020

Date Last Modified: 

November 26, 2019