Iranian Pleads Guilty To Exporting Military Spare Parts
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An Iranian exporter has pleaded guilty to smuggling U.S. military spare parts, including components for the F-4 Phantom fighter jet, to the Tehran government for use in its war with Iraq.
Amir Masoud Motamedi, 27, pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of an 11- count indictment before U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima. He entered the plea through an interpreter.
Sentencing was set for May 20. Motamedi faces four years in prison and a $400,000 fine.
He was indicted in November and charged with acting as a purchasing agent for Iran, said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fahey.
Motamedi, posing as a purchasing agent for the governments of Spain, Canada, and at times the United States, obtained parts for the F-4, for the P- 3 reconaissance plane, bomb racks and radar jamming devices, Fahey said.
Motamedi lied to customs agents, saying the parts were destined for England, but were shipped from there to Iran, he said.
Fahey said the exporter received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Tehran goverment, which has been waging a stalemated war against neighboring Iraq for five years.
Much of Iran’s military equipment was obtained when the United States was Tehran’s prime military supplier before Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was overthrown.
During the war with Iraq, Iran has run critically short of spare parts to keep its jet fighters flying.