News Briefs

October 29, 2018
British couple Paul and Iris Attwater smuggled aircraft parts with nuclear and military applications to Alexander George in Malaysia, who supplied the parts to Iran. The Attwaters used their company, Pairs Aviation, to supply George, who acted as a broker between the couple and Iranian buyers. George held multiple contracts for the supply of plane and helicopter components with Iranian aviation firms and used companies he owned in Malaysia and Dubai to facilitate this supply. The couple was aware of the need for a license to export some of the components after a 2009 shipment was impounded. However, the couple continued to supply the same components to George, via a freight forwarder in the Netherlands. The couple was found guilty and received a suspended sentence. George was found guilty and is due to be sentenced next month.
-- Telegraph
October 26, 2018
In August, U.S. forces seized over 2,500 AK-47 rifles and other guns about 70 miles off the coast of Yemen. The arms were in the process of being transferred from a dhow to a smaller skiff. U.S. authorities invited the United Nations to examine the arms on October 25 in order to determine whether they originated in Iran or Somalia and whether the seizure proves that Iran is smuggling weapons to Yemen’s Houthis.
-- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
October 19, 2018
Western intelligence sources believe that Iran has increased its weapons shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Flight data indicates that Iran is using Fars Air Qeshm airline to transport weapons components to Iranian factories in Lebanon, including GPS devices used to make unguided rockets into precision-guided missiles. A shipment this week departed Tehran for an unknown destination, before stopping in Damascus and continuing on to Beirut. Iran's Fars Air Qeshm allegedly transports arms on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
-- Fox News
October 4, 2018
U.S. federal judge Ed Kinkeade extended the term of a court-appointed monitor overseeing ZTE Corporation's compliance with U.S. export controls by two years, until 2022. The extension follows ZTE's breach of a settlement agreement regarding its violation of sanctions on Iran and North Korea. Judge Kinkeade also gave the monitor additional powers, bringing them in line with the authority of a second compliance monitor appointed by the Commerce Department under a seperate settlement agreement with ZTE concluded in June.
-- The Wall Street Journal
October 1, 2018
Iran fired six ballistic missiles at alleged Islamic State militants in Syria in response to a recent attack on a military parade in Iran, allegedly conducted by the group. The missiles, believed to be the domestically produced Zolfaqar and Qiam missiles, were launched from Kermanshah and flew 570 kilometers (354 miles) before hitting their targets in southeastern Syria, according to Iranian officials.
-- Reuters
September 13, 2018
An unnamed Canadian company attempted to sell missile technology to the Iranian government sometime in 2017, according to a Canadian government federal report released in June 2018. The company's export permit application was denied. The proposed sale was for materials related to the production of structural composites, pyrolytic deposition and densification, and structural materials, which falls under "missile technology" in Canada’s export classifications.
-- VICE News
September 12, 2018
The speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, claims that Iran currently has between 3,000 and 4,000 active centrifuges, which is below the 5,060 first-generation centrifuges Iran is permitted to operate under the nuclear deal. 
-- Reuters
September 10, 2018
According to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi, a new hall for manufacturing advanced centrifuges is "well equipped and rendered operational." He further noted that the Natanz nuclear complex has been configured to accommodate up to 48,000 centrifuges, claiming that this would provide the potential for uranium enrichment of up to one million SWUs.
-- Tasnim News Agency
September 3, 2018
Iran’s Qeshm Fars Air is suspected of smuggling arms and arms manufacturing components into Lebanon meant for Hezbollah and Iranian weapons factories. According to Western intelligence sources, the aviation company has twice used uncommon flight paths to avoid detection. A flight on July 9 departed from Tehran and had a short layover in Damascus before continuing to Beirut. A second flight on August 2 departed from Tehran and followed an irregular route north of Syria to Lebanon. Qeshm Fars Air ceased operating in 2013 and resumed operations in March 2017. The company's board includes three Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) representatives: Ali Naghi Gol Parsta, Hamid Reza Pahlvani, and Gholamreza Qhasemi.  
-- Fox News
September 1, 2018
A federal indictment unsealed on August 27, 2018 charges Johnny Paul Tourino, the owner of California-based Spectra Equipment, Inc., with conspiracy to procure and illicitly ship export-controlled computer servers to Iran. Between January 2014 and July 2017, Tourino arranged for the servers to be transshipped from Australia and New York via Hong Kong to Iran for use by Bank Mellat. In 2017, Tourino falsely asserted to a U.S. company that the end-user was a bank in Africa. He also falsely stated to the U.S. Department of the Treasury that the end-user was in Slovenia. Tourino was arrested in February 2018. His trial is scheduled for March 2019.
-- Export Practitioner