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Two Iranians Arrested for Smuggling U.S. Fighter Jet Parts to Iran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian air force fighter jets fly over Tehran. AFP, Getty Images

London- The United Stated attorney in the U.S. Federal Court announced the arrest of two Iranians for smuggling U.S. fighter jet parts, worth $3 million dollars, to Iran.

Los Angeles Times revealed on Sunday that Zavik Zargarian, 52, and Vache Nayirian, 57, have been reportedly arrested in California by special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service’s Homeland Security Investigations unit on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.

According to a federal indictment released this week, the two men were part of a larger group who conspired to smuggle U.S.-made fighter jet parts to Iran via a scheme that involved Zargarian’s Pacoima-based company, ZNC Engineering Inc., and at least two Iranian nationals: Hanri Terminassian, 55, and Hormoz Nowrouz, 56.

“The crimes charged in this indictment are very serious threats to our national security,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker.

“As a nation, it is vital that we protect our military technology and prevent it from getting into the hands of other countries without proper authorization.”

The group also conspired to import some 7,000 fluorocarbon rubber O-rings to Iran, according to the indictment.

The U.S. embargo on Iran prohibits the export of goods, technology and services to Iran with limited exceptions.

The newspaper mentioned that if convicted, Zargarian would face a maximum sentence of 115 years in federal prison and a $4.77-million fine while Nayirian would face 95 years in federal prison and a $3.77-million fine.

A trial is set for December 20, but those accused are rejecting any accusation against them.