U.S. Telecom Mogul Receives Prison Sentence for Helping Iran into Space

January 6, 2014

Publication Type: 

  • International Enforcement Actions

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

Related Country: 

  • Russia
  • Switzerland


Wisconsin Project Staff

On December 20, 2013 Nader Modanlo, a U.S. citizen born in Iran, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $10 million on charges of brokering a deal that helped Iran launch its first  satellite, in violation of U.S. sanctions. Five others, all Iranian nationals, were also indicted but remain at large. Modanlo, who co-founded the now-bankrupt U.S. satellite telecommunications company Final Analysis, Inc. in the early 1990s, used his business contacts and aerospace engineering experience to assist Iran in the launch of its first satellite, the Sina-1, in Russia in October 2005. Starting in 2001, Modanlo coordinated a series of meetings in Moscow between the Russian aerospace outfit Polyot and Iranian government officials, including co-defendants Sirous Naseri (a consultant to the Iranian Foreign Ministry) and Hamid Malmirian (general director of Iran's National Geographical Organization). According to the indictment, Modanlo's co-defendants arranged to pay him $10 million for his services by establishing a company named Prospect Telecom in Switzerland, which laundered the funds for his payment.


[1] Indictment, U.S. v. Modanlo, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, November 10, 2010

[2] Douglas Birch, "US Space Entrepreneur Accused of Aiding Iran," Associated Press, June 27, 2011.

[3] “American To Serve 8 Years in Iran Satellite Case,” Associated Press, December 21, 2013.