Five charged in US over Iran, China exports

NEW YORK (AFP) — Five people have been charged in New York in two separate alleged schemes to export illegal shipments of military grade technology to China and Iran, US officials said.

On Thursday, federal law enforcement officials announced the arrest of Mark Henry, 49, for allegedly exporting dual-use goods to China and Taiwan between 2009 and this September.

Henry was accused of selling materials that can be used in rocket nozzles and also trying to export microwave amplifiers, which are likewise considered to have dual military-civilian use.

"Preventing the illegal export of sensitive US origin commodities that enhance the military capabilities of foreign nations is our top priority," said Sidney Simon, a special agent with the US commerce department.

"We are constantly striving to maintain the technological advantage of US fighting forces."

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced charges against four people for allegedly exporting restricted goods, including carbon fiber, to Iran and China.

The carbon fiber can be used in gas centrifuges that enrich uranium, as well as in military grade aircraft and missiles.

Two of the four were Iranian citizens, one was Turkish, and one American. Only the Turkish citizen was not in custody, the prosecutor's office said.

"The law prohibits the exportation of goods to Iran and certain goods to China. Whether motivated by greed or otherwise, these defendants allegedly violated the law, including by arranging for the export of carbon fiber that can be used in uranium enrichment," FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos said in a statement.