NY court sentences US citizen to prison for illegal tech shipments to Iran

Kambiz Attar Kashani violated federal sanctions by shipping items to Iranian entities through UAE front companies, to the benefit of terror groups and Tehran’s nuclear program

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

In this September 21, 2016, file photo, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard troops march in a military parade in Tehran, Iran. ​(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)
In this September 21, 2016, file photo, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard troops march in a military parade in Tehran, Iran. ​(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

NEW YORK — A federal court in New York on Thursday sentenced a dual citizen of the US and Iran to 30 months in prison for illegally exporting technology products to the Iranian government.

Kambiz Attar Kashani, 45, violated US sanctions against Iran and intentionally deceived US authorities and companies by exporting the items through front companies in the United Arab Emirates, prosecutors said.

Kashani and co-conspirators are accused of using the two UAE companies to procure electronic goods and technology from multiple US tech companies between 2019 and 2021. The items were then delivered to Iran, including the Bank of Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Kashani intentionally deceived US authorities and companies, prosecutors said. One of the companies was in New York and another in Massachusetts.

Some of the exports included sophisticated electronic equipment and software.

Prosecutors said Kashani acted “for the benefit of the Central Bank of Iran, a designated entity that materially supports known terrorist organizations.”

The US has sanctioned the Central Bank of Iran for its support of Hezbollah and the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, both designated terrorist groups.

US Attorney Breon Peace said, “His scheme undermined US foreign policy and national security interests, and warranted a substantial sentence of incarceration to deter others.”

“Kashani will now head to prison for strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism to line his own pockets, while circumventing US laws in place to protect our national security interests,” said the FBI agent handling the case, Joseph R. Bonavolanta.

Some of the exports helped the Iranian banking system in its operations, boosting Iran’s economy, and allowing for better access to funds that helped Iran develop its nuclear program and terror activities, prosecutors said.

Some of the products were classified as information security items and were subject to national security and anti-terrorism controls.

Kashani pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2022. In addition to the prison term, he will pay a $50,000 fine. He had faced up to 20 years in prison for the charges.

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