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A 64-year-old man from Ohio has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for selling oilfield equipment and pipeline parts to Iran secretly, in breach of sanctions and a trade embargo, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
According to the case, Behrooz Behroozian, from Dublin, Ohio, used his computer parts company, called Comtech International, set up in 2006, to ship to Iran components such as valves, manifolds, and connectors.
“For years, this defendant deliberately sought to defeat and evade the Iranian sanctions for personal gain while supplying critical equipment to the Iranian industrial complex. As this case demonstrates, the desire for specialized American technology and the willingness to illegally supply it to hostile countries are very real and ever present,” Assistant District Attorney for National Security John C. Demers said in the statement.
“Behroozian profited financially by strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism,” the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio said. “The parts obtained by Behroozian benefited the Iranian gas and petrochemical industry. Not only did Behroozian’s crimes diminish the effectiveness of American trade sanctions but they also undermined America’s national security.”
The United States quit the so-called nuclear deal with Iran last year in May and sanctions snapped back. The Trump administration also added new ones to the already existing sanctions, targeting specifically Iran’s oil industry, aiming to cut its oil export revenues to zero. According to Washington, the ultimate goal of the maximum pressure campaign is to bring Iran back to the negotiating table rather than driving a regime change.
As a result of the sanctions, Iran’s economy will shrink by 9.5 percent this year, according to the IMF. The World Bank sees the contraction at 8.5 percent. Only Venezuela and Libya, both co-members of OPEC, will fare worse than Iran this year, according to the IMF and the WB.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.