News Briefs

July 7, 2011
On July 6, 2011, Jirair Avanessian, of Glendale, California, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in illegally shipping vacuum pump equipment, which could be used in nuclear projects, to Iran. Avanessian was arrested in January 2010 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges later that year.
-- Glendale News-Press
June 28, 2011
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired 14 missiles as part of its Great Prophet-6 exercises. The missiles included a Ghadhr missile with a 1,800 kilometer range, two Shahab-1 missiles, two Shahab-2 missiles, and nine Zelzal unguided surface-to-surface missiles.
-- Agence France-Presse
June 27, 2011
An Iranian state television broadcast revealed underground silos that would make Iran's missiles less vulnerable to attack. An Iranian military official quoted in the broadcast stated that the silos housed a "swift-reaction" missile force, and that the missiles were "ready to hit the predetermined targets."
-- New York Times
June 24, 2011
The U.S. Treasury Department issued new sanctions against Iran Air, Iran's largest air carrier, and Tidewater Middle East Co., a major Iranian port operator owned by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The Treasury alleged that both firms facilitate illegal shipments in support of international terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and that Iran Air was involved in the transportation of high-tech parts for Iran's advanced missiles and nuclear program. The sanctions restrict U.S. firms from doing business with either entity.
-- Washington Post
June 23, 2011
Seven individuals and five corporate entities were indicted in the U.S. state of Georgia for allegedly conspiring to illegally export military equipment to Iran. The twelve defendants, based in the United States, France, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, are alleged to have conspired to export parts for the Bell AH-1 attack helicopter, the UH-1 Huey attack helicopter, as well as the F-5 and F-4 fighter jets, without the required U.S. export licenses. Defendants Hamid Seifi, Galaxy Aviation, Michael Edward Todd and The Parts Guys have pleaded guilty to the charges; the remaining defendants are still at large.
-- Wall Street Journal
June 20, 2011
Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and 15 other defendants were indicted in New York for illegally funneling more than $60 million through the American banking system since 2008. According to the indictment, IRISL and its co-defendants were able to avoid U.S. sanctions by transacting through shell companies established in countries such as Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Prosecutors said IRISL needed access to U.S. banks to compete in the shipping sector, which primarily does business in U.S. currency.
-- New York Times
June 15, 2011
Iran announced the successful launch of its second domestically-produced satellite. The Rasad micro-satellite's mission includes space imagery and the relay of telemetry information to earth stations. The 15-kilogram satellite was launched aboard the Iranian-produced Safir launch vehicle to an orbit at an altitude of 260 kilometers.
-- Islamic Republic News Agency
June 8, 2011
Iran plans to triple its output of uranium enriched to 20 percent and to move this production from the Natanz enrichment plant to the Fordo (Fordow) site near the city of Qom, according to Vice President Fereidoun Abbasi. Fordo is located inside former ammunition depots and is protected by the Revolutionary Guards. According to Abbasi, the Fordo site will be equipped with more advanced centrifuges than the P-1 type used at Natanz.
-- Associated Press
May 31, 2011
Davoud Baniameri, a California resident and Iranian national, pleaded guilty to illegally exporting radio test sets to Iran, via Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Baniameri also pleaded guilty to attempting to illegally export connector adapters for the TOW and TOW2 missile systems to Iran, also via Dubai. Also charged in the case was Andro Telemi, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iran who has been released and is awaiting trial in the United States. Telemi allegedly assisted Baniameri with the attempted purchase of the connector adapters. The materials in question were allegedly intended for a second co-defendant, Syed Majid Mousavi, an Iranian citizen who remains at large and is believed to be living in Iran.
-- Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice
May 26, 2011
Spanish police seized nine Bell-112 military transport helicopters and aviation spare parts, and arrested five Spanish businessmen suspected of attempting to illegally export the seized materials. The police suspect the helicopters were bound for Iran, and arrested three Iranians accused of traveling to Spain to negotiate their purchase. According to police, the aviation spare parts were earmarked for transport to Venezuela.
-- Agence France-Presse