NOVEMBER 18, 2008
Illustrating the national security risk posed by illegal immigrants, a Middle Eastern man who fraudulently obtained U.S. residency has been charged with selling sophisticated technology and other goods to a terrorist sponsoring nation.
The Iranian man and a fellow countryman violated the U.S. embargo by selling fuel-cell technology, centrifuges, computer equipment and other materials to Iran which has long been designated a sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. government. In fact, the State Department lists Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism because its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts.
Incredibly, two Iranian nationals lived freely in the U.S. and for years provided the country with technology. Mohammad Reza Vaghari, the illegal immigrant who fraudulently obtained a U.S. residency card, lived in the small Pennsylvania community of Broomall and his cohort (Mir Hossein Ghaemi) lived in the similarly small Maryland town of Edgewood.
The men have been charged with conspiracy to violate a federal law that prohibits doing business with nations that present a threat to the United States. They conducted business under a company name and exported goods to unknown conspirators in United Arab Emirates who later shipped the merchandise to Iran.
Besides the previously listed technology, federal prosecutors say the men exported electrical, laboratory and medical equipment as well as automobile parts. Vaghari, who is also charged with attempting to procure U.S. citizenship by fraud and possessing immigration documents that were procured by fraud, faces more than eight decades in prison and a fine of nearly $4 million and Ghaemi faces five years in jail.
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