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U.S.-Iranian citizen accused of sending U.S. technology to Iran

According to officials, the man allegedly used two companies as fronts to procure items from multiple U.S. companies, including one in Massachusetts.

A man with ties to Massachusetts has been charged with conspiring to illegally export U.S. goods, technology, and services to end-users in Iran, including the government of Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, according to a statement from federal officials.

Kambiz Attar Kashani, 44, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran, was arrested Thursday in Chicago, Illinois, according to the statement.

The arrest was announced by Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York,  Matthew G. Olsen, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National  Security Division, and Joseph R. Bonavolanta, special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Boston field office.

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“Kashani’s arrest underscores the unrelenting resolve of this office and the Department of Justice to prosecute those who seek to profit by compromising our national security,” Peace said.

Peace alleged that Kashani orchestrated an elaborate scheme to evade federal export laws and use the U.S. financial system in procuring U.S. electronic equipment and technology for the Central Bank of Iran, which has been designated by the federal government as acting for or on behalf of terrorist organizations, according to the statement.

According to officials, Kashani allegedly used two United Arab Emirates companies as fronts to procure items from multiple U.S. technology companies, including a company in Massachusetts.

“We believe Mr. Kashani profited financially by strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism, while circumventing critical U.S. laws designed to protect our national security interests,” Bonavolonta said.

As set forth in the complaint, according to the statement, Kashani conspired to illegally export goods and technology to the Central Bank of Iran.

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has classified CBI as a Specially Designated National (SDN) signifying that CBI is acting for or on behalf of a terrorist organization, according to officials.

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According to the U.S. government, CBI has materially assisted, sponsored, and provided financial, material, or technological support, goods, or services to Lebanese Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and to the Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The IRGC is a branch of the Iranian armed forces and represents the primary means of the government of Iran to direct and implement its global terrorism campaign, according to the statement.  

Kashani allegedly perpetrated the illegal transshipping scheme through two separate United Arab Emirates (UAE) front companies for which he acts as principal, officials said. 

From around February 2019 through June 2021, Kashani and his co-conspirators used the two UAE companies to procure electronic goods and technology from multiple U.S.  technology companies for end-users in Iran, including CBI, without obtaining the required export licenses, according to the statement.

Officials allege that Kashani and his co-conspirators intentionally concealed from the U.S. companies that they intended to send the items to Iran, falsely claiming that the UAE front companies would be the ultimate end users.  

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section.

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Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Meredith A. Arfa are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney S. Derek Shugert of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export  Control Section and Assistant United States Attorney Shawn McCarthy of the Northern  District of Illinois.  

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