Mohammad Khazrai Shaneivar, Arezoo Hashemnejad Alalmdari, and Parisa Mohamadi were charged in Cleveland federal court earlier this week for exporting products to “safe” countries like the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, where they would they be forwarded to Iran.
They were charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and smuggling, back in June but the indictment was not unsealed until last week when Mohamadi, 52, was arrested in the US.
The trade embargo against Iran was passed in 1995 by Bill Clinton in response to policies and actions from the Iranian Regime, regarding terrorist activity and attempts at creating a nuclear weapons programme, which constituted a threat to US national security.
As a result, exports from the US to Iran are banned except in very rare circumstances, when the US government grants permission.
The Department of Homeland Security said that the defendants did not have permission to export these goods.
The defendants also used the Canadian company IC Link Industries, which is operated by Shaneivar, to export the goods to an affiliate business in Iran, as Shaneivar and Alamdari live in Canada.
According to the indictment, Shaneivar would receive orders for US industrial goods from Alamdari and others on behalf of customers in Iran.
IC Link would then send requests to a person, named only as “M.S” in the docket, who lives in Ohio and operates two businesses that obtain US goods for resale in other countries. If the price was acceptable, M.S would then ship the items, which would end up in Iran.
Occasionally, M.S would be told to undervalue the goods, repackage them, or remove serial numbers to avoid raising suspicion with the US Government about what was being shipped out of the country.
The goods were to be used in industries like oil, gas, energy and petroleum among others. One customer was Kala Naft, the procurement arm of the National Iranian Oil Company, according to the indictment.
Mohamadi, who also goes by Parisa Javidi, also has a criminal complaint filed against her in January for her involvement in over 70 potential or completed transactions worth more than $3 million between 2010 and 2012.
Mohamadi, who has addresses all over the world, has pleaded not guilty but remains in the custody of the US Marshals Service.