Iranian National Pleads Guilty to Illegally Exporting Missile Components and Radio Test Sets to Iran

On May 31, 2011, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Davoud Baniameri, 38, of Woodland Hills, CA, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to export goods and technology to Iran without a license or approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and one count of attempting to export defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List from the United States without a license or approval from the U.S. Department of State in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).

U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan set sentencing for Aug. 4. Baniameri, who remains in federal custody, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for violating IEEPA and a maximum of 20 years in prison for violating AECA and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count. A written plea agreement contemplates a sentencing guideline range of 46 to 57 months imprisonment.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, sometime before Oct. 10, 2008, Mousavi, based in Iran, contacted Baniameri in California and requested that he purchase and export radio test sets from the United States to Iran, through Dubai. Baniameri agreed and over the next few months negotiated the purchase of three Marconi radio test sets from a company in Illinois. Ultimately, Baniameri arranged for the radio test kits to be sent to him in California, where he shipped them to Dubai, for ultimate transshipment to Iran. At no time did Baniameri obtain or attempt to obtain a license from the U.S. government for the export of the radio test sets.

The plea agreement also states that, sometime before Aug. 10, 2009, Mousavi contacted Baniameri and requested that he purchase and export to Iran via Dubai 10 connector adapters for the TOW and TOW2 missile systems. Baniameri agreed to purchase the items on behalf of Mousavi, and over the next few months, he admitted that he and his co-defendants attempted to purchase 10 connector adaptors from a company in Illinois, which unbeknownst to them, was in fact a company controlled by law enforcement. In September 2009, Baniameri admitted that he directed Telemi to take possession of the connector adaptors in California after having paid $9,450 to a representative of the Illinois company. To further facilitate the export of these items to Iran, Baniameri arranged to fly from the United States to Dubai and then from Dubai to Iran. At no time did Baniameri obtain or attempt to obtain a license from the U.S. government for the export of the connector adaptors. He was arrested before leaving the United States.