By: Harold Hutchison, Daily Caller News Foundation
The Justice Department announced charges against two men in a scheme to supply electronic technology to Iran, according to multiple media outlets.
Hossein Hatefi Ardakani and Gary Lam were indicted in September 2020 on charges of conspiracy to provide Iran with microelectronic technology to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Agence France-Presse reported. The pair, who made the purchases in 2014 and 2015, allegedly used front companies to carry out their plot, according to ABC News.
“U.S. technology has zero place in Iranian UAVs,” Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod of the Department of Commerce said in a Tuesday release by the Justice Department. “As these allegations demonstrate, those who procure dual-use microelectronics for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will be held accountable.”
The Justice Department accused Ardakani and Lam of tricking a French company into purchasing “analog-to-digital converters” that were shipped to Hong Kong, where Lam was based. Lam later arranged for the converters to be sent to Iran.
“These very components have been found in use by Iran’s allies in current conflicts, including in Ukraine,” Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Krol of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New England said in the DOJ release. “The disruption of these criminal networks by Homeland Security Investigations means that hundreds of thousands of critical UAV components will never again be used for malign purposes.”
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Carney shot down 14 drones fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen Saturday, while drones have been used by Iranian-backed forces in previous attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea.