Taiwanese Citizen Sentenced for Illegal Exports of Military and Dual-Use Items to Iran

May 7, 2021

Publication Type: 

  • International Enforcement Actions

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile
  • Military

Related Country: 

  • China
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States


Wisconsin Project Staff

Update: Mehrdad Ansari, a co-defendant in the case, was extradited from the Republic of Georgia to the United States in March 2020. In May 2021, a jury in the Western District of Texas convicted him of one count of conspiracy to violate the Iranian Transaction Regulations, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and two counts of aiding and abetting the making of false statements. He will be sentenced in September 2021. Another co-defendant, Mehrdad Foomani, remains at large.

Foomani used companies in Iran (Morvarid Sargh Co Ltd), Hong Kong (Panda Semiconductor, Foang Tech Inc), and China (Ninehead Bird Semiconductor) to illicitly obtain military-sensitive items from the United States for Iran. Ansari supported the operation by transshipping the illicit cargo through Gulf Gate Sea Cargo LLC, his company in the United Arab Emirates. The shipments and attempted shipments, valued at over $2.6 million, took place between October 2007 and June 2011.

Originally published: October 30, 2012

A U.S. district court in Texas sentenced Taiwanese citizen Susan Yip (a.k.a. Susan Yeh) to two years in federal prison on October 24, 2012, for her role in shipping thousands of U.S.-origin military and dual-use parts from the United States to Iran, using front companies in the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. According to court documents, Yip worked with Iranian citizen Mehrdad "Frank" Foomani and UAE citizen Merdad Ansari, who were also indicted but remain at large.

Yip acted as a broker in order to obtain U.S. origin goods destined for Iranian companies run by Foomani, including Sazgan Ertebat Co. Ltd. and Morvarid Shargh Co. Ltd. She used her companies in Taiwan (Hivocal Technology Company Ltd., Enrich Ever Technologies Co. Ltd., and Kuang-Su Corporation) and in Hong Kong (Infinity Wise Technology, Well Smart (HK) Technology, Pinky Trading Co. Ltd., and Wise Smart (HK) Electronics Limited) to procure and attempt to procure goods from the United States. In some cases, the goods were transshipped via Ansari's UAE-based Gulf Gate Sea Cargo L.L.C.

Yip, Ansari, and Ansari allegedly took part in 599 transactions with 63 different U.S. companies, for items with potential applications in nuclear weapons, missile guidance, secure radio communications, electronic warfare, radio jamming, and radar warning and surveillance systems, including vibration test systems, microwave absorbers, spectrum analyzers, precision amplifiers, and oscillators.


[1] "Taiwanese National Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Exporting Military Sensitive Items from the United States to Iran," Press Release, Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Antonio Division, October 24, 2012.

[2] Indictment, United States of America v. Susan Yip, Mehrdad Foomanie, and Mehrdad Ansari, Case Number 5:11-cr-00516-XR, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, June 15, 2011.