Break up of Iranian IED procurement ring

Bureau of Industry and Security
September 17, 2008

Weapon Program: 

  • Military

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) today announced 75 additions to its Entity List because of their involvement in a global procurement network which sought to illegally acquire U.S.-origin dual-use and military components for the Iranian Government, and for their relationship to the Mayrow General Trading company. Parties on the Entity List are subject to a general policy of denial for the export or reexport of any item subject to the Export Administration Act (EAA).

"This extensive, effective government effort has broken up a lethal international ring seeking to harm American and allied forces as well as innocent civilians by acquiring sensitive U.S. technology capable of producing improvised explosive devices (IED) similar to those being used in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Commerce Under Secretary Mario Mancuso. "The Commerce Department remains firmly committed to protecting our forces by prosecuting those who try to do them harm, and today's action illustrates the broad scope of that endeavor."

These actions are being taken in conjunction with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, which today unsealed an indictment naming 16 foreign-based defendants targeting the same network. Defendants are charged with conspiracy and violations involving the Iran Trade Embargo, the Iranian Transactions Regulations, the Export Administration Regulations and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

U.S.-origin goods diverted to Iran via this network have included those controlled by the EAR for missile technology, national security and anti-terrorism reasons as well as those controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

BACKGROUND

Today's actions are the result of a BIS Export Enforcement Miami field office criminal investigation of Iranian procurement front companies including Mayrow General Trading. This network is spread across several countries, including the United States.

The investigation was initiated in July 2006 through the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The Commerce Department led the criminal investigation which also included Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, and Treasury.

BIS controls exports and re-exports of dual-use items, technology and software for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nuclear nonproliferation, chemical and biological weapons, nuclear non-proliferation, regional stability, and short supply. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the EAR.