On June 17, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Omid Khalili, an Iranian national, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama to attempting to illegally export fighter jet or military aircraft parts from the U.S. to Iran.
Khalili and other defendant were charged in a nine-count indictment returned on January 28, 2010, with conspiracy, money laundering, smuggling, and violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
According to court documents, Khalili and his co-conspirator have been working with the Iranian government to procure military items for the Iranian government. In November 2009, Khalili contacted an undercover agent seeking parts for the military aircraft for export to Iran.
The parts requested by Khalili are designated as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List and require a U.S. State Department export license. In addition, these items may not be exported to Iran without a license from the U.S. Treasury Department due to the U.S. trade embargo on Iran. Neither Khalili nor his co-conspirator obtained the required export licenses.
On November 20, 2009, Khalili send an e-mail to the undercover agent containing a list of aircraft parts for the military aircraft and inquiring about their prices. In December 2009, Khalili and his co-conspirator talked with the agent and informed him that the parts were to be sent to Iran and that, because of the U.S. embargo, they would need to be re-routed through an intermediate country. When the undercover agent agreed to send the requested parts to the defendants, Khalili and his other co-conspirators sent four separate cash deposits totaling in excess of $70,000 from a bank in U.A.E. to a bank in Alabama as down-payment for the aircraft parts.
Khalili faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $1 million fine.