The U.S. Department of Justice reported on Dec. 5 that it has filed charges against four individuals for exporting various goods from the U.S. to Iran and China. These goods include carbon fiber, which has a wide variety of uses, including in gas centrifuges that enrich uranium and in military aircraft and strategic missiles.
The four individuals charged are Hamid Reza Hashemi, a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen who resides in Iran, Peter Gromacki, a U.S. citizen and a resident of Orange County, N.Y., Amir Abbas Tamimi, an Iranian citizen and a resident of Iran, and Murat Taskiran, a Turkish citizen. Hashemi, Gromacki, and Tamimi are in custody in the U.S.
Hashemi is alleged to have violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by working with others, including Taskiran, to arrange for the export of carbon fiber from the U.S. to his company in Tehran, Iran. Hashemi was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he entered the U.S. on Dec. 1, 2012, and was arraigned in federal court in White Plains on Dec. 4, 2012.
Gromacki is alleged to have violated IEEPA by using his company in Orange County, N.Y., to export carbon fiber from the U.S. to China. He was arrested Dec. 5 at his residence in Orange County, and was arraigned in federal court in White Plains.
Tamimi is alleged to have violated IEEPA by working to export helicopter component parts from the U.S. to Iran through South Korea. He was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he entered the U.S. on Oct. 5, 2012, and was arraigned on Oct. 9, 2012, in federal court in Manhattan.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The embargo and export laws that all four of these defendants are alleged to have violated are critical to protecting the national security of the United States and its citizens. Carbon fiber in the wrong hands poses a serious threat to that security, and two of these defendants are charged with arranging its export to Iran, where it most assuredly had the potential to end up in the wrong hands. The law enforcement actions we announce today should make clear that, together with our law enforcement partners, we will work tirelessly to enforce the laws that protect our country.”
Click U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York for original statement.