News Briefs

April 15, 2012
A dozen Iranian officials reportedly attended North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket launch. According to an anonymous source, the Iranians were members of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG). Government officials from South Korea neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.
-- Yonhap News
March 15, 2012
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a Belgium-based company, blocked 30 Iranian banks from using its service in reaction to recent European Union sanctions. SWIFT is a secure private network used by banks around the world to transfer money across international borders. Lazaro Campos, chief executive of SWIFT, stated that the decision was a “direct result of international and multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran."
-- Associated Press
March 2, 2012
David Levick, a 50 year old Australian national, and his Sydney-based company ICM Components Inc., have been indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States and for exporting, in violation of U.S. law, equipment that could be used in missiles, drones and torpedoes. According to the U.S. Justice Department, between March 2007 and March 2009, Mr. Levick and ICM Components allegedly solicited purchase orders for U.S.-origin goods from a representative for a trading company in Iran, who operated intermediary companies in Malaysia. The goods include VG-34 Series Miniature Vertical Gyroscopes and K2000 Series Servo Actuators. Mr. Levick potentially faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge, and 20 years in prison for each of the four counts related to illegal exports.
-- Wall Street Journal
February 22, 2012
PRC Laser Corporation, a New Jersey-based company, agreed to pay a $42,000 fine to settle charges that it illegally shipped an industrial laser to Iran, via Dubai, in January 2010. The laser was purchased by Impex Intercontinental Trading LLC (Impex), a company with offices in Dubai and Tehran, which made payment by wire transfer through Tehrani Exchange in Iran. Impex described itself as a “special agent” for Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), an entity listed on the U.S. Specially Designated Nationals List.
-- Just Anti-Corruption
February 15, 2012
Iran’s first domestically-produced fuel rod containing 20-percent enriched uranium was installed at the Tehran Research Reactor, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency. The fuel rod was fabricated in Isfahan.
-- Associated Press
February 10, 2012
A court ruling found that four Singaporeans, Lim Kow Seng, Lim Yong Nam, Hia Soo Gan Benson, and Wong Yuh Lan, can be extradited to the United States to face charges relating to the smuggling of radio control devices to Iran, components of which were later found in improvised explosive devices in Iraq.  Between June 2007 and February 2008, according to the U.S. Justice Department, the defendants arranged the transportation through Singapore of five separate shipments of 6,000 military antennas and radio frequency modules.  The components were produced by a Minnesota company.  Once extradited, the defendants face charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, smuggling, illegal export of goods from the U.S. to Iran, illegal export of defense articles from the U.S., false statements, and obstruction of justice.  A fifth defendant, Hossein Larijani, an Iranian, remains at large.
-- Associated Press via
February 6, 2012
President Obama issued an executive order freezing all assets of Iranian government and financial institutions that are under U.S. jurisdiction. The executive order, issued as a response to what President Obama cited as “deceptive practices” by the Central Bank of Iran in hiding transactions of sanctioned parties, blocks all property that belongs to the Iranian government, the Central Bank of Iran, and all of Iran’s financial institutions.
-- Bloomberg
February 4, 2012
Iran announced the beginning of mass production of the Zafar, a short-range anti-ship naval cruise missile. At a ceremony, the first supply of the new missile was presented to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
-- Fars News Agency
February 3, 2012
Iran successfully launched its third domestically made research satellite into space. The satellite, named Navid-e Elm and San'at and weighing about 50 kg, was launched using the Safir rocket into a 375 km orbit. The satellite, manufactured by Iran University of Science and Technology, is designed to collect data on weather conditions and to monitor for natural disasters.
-- Mehr News
January 27, 2012
Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi, a 54-year-old Iranian microchip expert and assistant professor at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, was arrested in the United States and charged with buying high-tech scientific instruments in violation of U.S. export control laws. Atarodi was detained on December 7 in Los Angeles as he stepped off a plane, and is in custody at a federal facility in Dublin, California.
-- Associated Press