Posted by Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
Hey, Obama: Iranian caught trying to smuggle nuclear materials out of the U.S.
One of the worst foreign policies the United States pursued over the past decade was the so-called “nuclear deal” with Iran that former President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry worked so hard to complete.
How hard? So hard they a) ignored a $1 billion-a-year drug-smuggling operation by an Iran proxy and terrorist organization, Hezbollah; b) paid Iran a $1.7 billion ransom, in violation of long-standing U.S. policy, for the return of American prisoners; and c) permitted Iran to cheat on the deal early and often.
Moreover, the deal really did not curb Iran’s ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, as evidenced by recent charges against an Iranian national leveled by the Justice Department.
As the Washington Free Beacon reported:
An Iranian national was caught by the Trump administration attempting to smuggle materials that can be used to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, out of the U.S., according to the Justice Department.
Behzad Pourghannad allegedly attempted to smuggle carbon fiber out of America and ship it to Tehran. Pourghannad was arrested in May 2017 in Germany and later extradited to the U.S. He arrived in America on Monday. On Tuesday, the Justice Department unsealed a three-count indictment charging Pourghannad and two others in the plot to export the sensitive nuclear materials.
Ali Reza Shokri and Farzin Faridmanesh, the two alleged conspirators, remain at large.
“Pourghannad is alleged to have sought to procure for Iran large amounts of carbon fiber—a commodity that can be used in the enrichment of uranium,” Assistant Attorney General Demers said in a statement.
“U.S. sanctions exist to prevent behavior, like this, which endangers our country, and the Department is committed to vigorously enforcing them. Pourghannad and others who would attempt to thwart these laws need to know that their actions, which benefit Iran’s destabilizing efforts and make Americans less safe, will not go unpunished,” Demers added.
The materials can be used by Iran to fuel its continuing enrichment of uranium, which has produced renewed tensions between Tehran and Washington.
After the Trump administration levied new sanctions against Iran, the Islamic republic ramped up uranium production in violation of nuclear deal restrictions.
But the fact that the country is attempting to smuggle materials related to its nuclear weapons development indicates that Tehran most likely never abandoned it — despite the Obama administration’s assurances.
“Carbon fiber has many aerospace and defense applications, and is strictly controlled to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.
“Pourghannad and his co-defendants allegedly went to great lengths to circumvent these controls and the United States’ export laws. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect our nation’s assets and protect our national security.”
“This case shows the FBI aggressively pursues those who break the law and violate sanctions against Iran,” FBI Assistant Director John Brown, of the counterintelligence division, said in a statement.
“Iran remains determined to acquire U.S. technology with military applications, and the FBI is just as determined to stop such illegal activity,” Brown said. “The charges against these three Iranian nationals, and the extradition of Mr. Pourghannad, demonstrate we take Iran’s actions extremely seriously and will work with our partners to defeat them.”
In November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that his Mossad intelligence service had uncovered a secret Iranian nuclear development facility.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 27, Netanyahu described the facility in central Tehran as a “secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.”
This article originally appeared at The National Sentinel and was republished with permission.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune