A man with dual US and Iran citizenship was indicted in a New York court Friday on charges of conspiring to buy surface-to-air missiles on behalf of the Iranian government.
Reza Olangian, 53, was arrested in Estonia in October 2012 as part of a sting operation and extradited to the United States on March 26, 2013.
US attorney Preet Bharara in the South District of New York said the suspect first tried to buy 100 surface-to-air missiles for Tehran in 2007, but the deal fell through.
In early 2012, he is accused of negotiating a separate deal for aircraft parts and 200 surface-to-air missiles with an undercover DEA agent who posed as a broker.
From Tehran, he allegedly detailed plans for procuring the order and smuggling it overland into Iran through Afghanistan or another neighbouring country.
After Olangian’s arrest, he allegedly confessed that the missiles were intended for the Iranian government and the aircraft parts for Iranian military aircraft.
There have been no diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.
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