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2 plead guilty in plot to ship aircraft to Iran

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An Iranian national and a U.S. citizen who worked as an airline pilot have pleaded guilty in a plot aimed at illegally shipping aircraft and parts to Iran for civilian use.

Federal authorities say both men face up to 40 years in prison and fines of $500,000 following their guilty pleas to a two-count indictment unsealed before their hearing Monday in federal court in Louisville, Ky.

The defendants are identified as Hamid Asefi, a 68-year-old Iranian citizen, and 53-year-old Behzad "Tony" Karimian, a U.S. citizen living in Louisville who holds an Iranian passport and has worked as a Mesaba Airlines pilot.

The indictment says the two violated an embargo against Iran by plotting to ship the parts and aircraft from the U.S. to Iran in 2009 and 2010.