Background

The Department of Justice reports that an Iranian businessman has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy to export carbon fiber from the U.S. to Iran in violation of U.S. economic sanctions against that country. The DOJ notes that carbon fiber has a wide variety of uses, including in missiles, aerospace engineering, and gas centrifuges that enrich uranium.

According to a DOJ press release, between 2008 and 2013 the businessman falsified shipment documents and used front companies to purchase tons of carbon fiber from U.S. companies and transship it through Europe, the United Arab Emirates, and other locations to Iran. Among other things, shipping labels were changed to reference “acrylic” or “polyester” rather than “carbon fiber” to evade U.S. export controls.

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