Report: Obama hid security threat of released prisoners in Iran deal
The Obama administration hid the fact that the men it let off the hook as part of a prisoner swap with Iran had been accused of supplying sensitive military equipment and electronics that could help Tehran’s nuclear program, it was reported Monday.
Under the January 2016 deal, the US released seven prisoners and dropped its cases against 14 fugitives in exchange for Iran’s release of captive Americans, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Politico reported.
Three of seven men freed by the US — Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afghahi and Tooraj Faridi — had been charged with supplying Iran with US-built electronics and other equipment that could be used in military systems, including missiles, the news site said.
Another, Nima Golestaneh, was allegedly behind a conspiracy to steal sensitive information, including software, from a Vermont defense contractor.
Nader Modanlo was sentenced to eight years in federal prison in 2013 on charges stemming from a conspiracy to provide satellite technology to Tehran and of receiving $10 million to help Iran launch its first-ever satellite.
Arash Ghahreman, a naturalized US citizen living on Staten Island, was convicted in 2015 of heading an effort for Iran to obtain US technologies with possible military and weapons uses.
And Ali Saboonchi was convicted in 2014 of illegally shipping industrial parts and components to Iranian users.
Of the 14 fugitives whose cases were dropped, the worst was Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who was charged with conspiring to procure thousands of parts with nuclear applications for Tehran, including hundreds of US-made pressure transducers for centrifuges used by Iran to enrich uranium, Politico reported.