On February 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release reporting that Milad Jafari, a 36-year old citizen and resident of Iran, has been indicted for conspiracy, smuggling and illegally exporting specialized metals and other materials from the U.S. through companies in Turkey to several entities in Iran, including some that have been sanctioned for involvement in ballistic missile activities.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that from about February 2004 through about August 2007 Jafari engaged in conspiracy and exported goods to Iran in violation of the U.S. embargo and without the required U.S. government licenses. Jafari and his conspirators allegedly solicited orders from customers in Iran and purchased goods from U.S. companies on behalf of these Iranian customers. Jafari and others allegedly wired money to the U.S. companies as payment, concealed from the U.S. companies the end-use and end-users of the goods, and caused the goods to be shipped to Turkey and later to Iran.
Jafari and his associates are thought to operate a procurement network that provides direct support to Iran's missile program by securing metal products, including steel and aluminum alloys, for subordinates of Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). On February 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Jafari, his associates and several corporate entities in Iran and Turkey under Executive Order 13382, which targets for sanctions proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters. This is expected to block Jafari and his associates from the U.S. financial and commercial systems.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $177,868 in connection with these offenses. Jafari remains at large and is believed to be in Iran. He faces a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count, 20 years in prison for each count of illegal exports to Iran, and 10 years in prison for each smuggling count.