Germany Charges Three with Exporting Missile Equipment to Iran

April 1, 2010

Publication Type: 

  • International Enforcement Actions

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 


Wisconsin Project Staff

German federal prosecutors charged Iranian citizen Mohsen Afrasiabi, German businessman Heinz Ulrich Kessel, and Iranian-German dual national Bezhad Sahabi with violating an arms embargo against Iran and European Union export restrictions on dual-use materials. The three men were accused of exporting a vacuum sintering furnace to Iran valued at about €850,000 ($1.1 million); such furnaces are required to apply refractory linings to guidance components of long-range missiles. Afrasiabi allegedly sought Sahabi's assistance in obtaining the furnace on behalf of Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), the primary procurement agent for Iran's missile program. Kessel's manufacturing company, FCT Systeme GmbH, supplied the furnace to Afrasiabi's company, Emen Survey Engineering Co Teheran, in July 2007. Concealing the actual end-user in his export authorization application, Kessel received notice that no authorization was required; he sent engineers to Iran to install the furnace in 2008. Shortly afterwards, German authorities informed Kessel of Afrasiabi's ties to Iran's missile program and the operation was halted before the furnace was ready to use. Afrasiabi was arrested in Germany in October 2009.


[1] Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber), Case C-72/11, Court of Justice of the European Union, December 21, 2011.

[2] David Crawford, "Germany charges two over Iran equipment deal," Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2010.