Chemical Engineer Sentenced To 4 Years Imprisonment for Violating Iran Sanctions

On January 12, 2010, Philadelphia Daily Newsreported that Ali Amirnazmi (Amirnazmi), a chemical engineer that had a dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, was sentenced to four years in federal prison for violating Iran sanctions. 

According to the prosecution, Amirnazmi, who owned TranTech Consultants, an Exton, PA company that specialized in databases for chemical companies, conspired and from 1996 to July 2008 transferred a chemical-procurement software system he developed, ChemPlan, to Iran to train Iranians to close technological gaps between Iran and its adversaries. 

Amirnazmi also "worked with and at the express direction of" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to support Iran's petrochemical industry. Amirnazmi entered into contracts with Iranian officials creating partnerships that would obtain large quantities of chemicals to be used in large chemical manufacturing plants in Iran. Some of the chemicals had serious dual-use potential, including use in the manufacture of solid-phase rocket propellants. 

At his sentencing hearing, Amirnazmi was defiant and maintained that he never intended to break any U.S. laws and stated he had no reason to lie. 

In addition to four-year sentence, the U.S. District Judge ordered Amirnazmi to serve five years of supervised release once he leaves prison, make restitution of $17,227 to a bank he defrauded and forfeit $81,277.