Toronto man charged in Iran nuclear technology case
OTTAWA, April 17 (AFP) Apr 17, 2009
A Toronto man has been arrested for allegedly procuring and trying to clandestinely export a device used to enrich uranium to Iran, federal police said Friday.
Mahmoud Yadegari was detained after an "extensive" eight-week probe by Canada's federal police and foreign service, Canadian and US border officials, and the US Department of Homeland Security, police said in statement.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police allege Yadegari "attempted to procure and export items known as 'pressure transducers.'" The devices are used in the production of enriched uranium, for military applications or commercial use.
Initially, police said the suspect was attempting to send them to Dubai, but at a press conference RCMP Inspector Greg Johnson told reporters they were ultimately destined for Iran.
"The declared point of destination was Dubai, United Arab Emirates, however we have evidence to support the fact its ultimate destination was Iran," Johnson said.
Charges were laid under Canada's nuclear non-proliferation policy and international treaties prohibiting exports of "strategic technologies" for illicit purposes, as well as a United Nations act regulating sanctions against Iran.
Iran is under intense international pressure to curb its nuclear ambitions, but has resisted, saying its program is for civilian energy use, not military.
The police investigation showed steps were taken to conceal the identification specifications of the transducers in order to export the items without the required export permits, said the RCMP.
Two transducers were seized as they were being shipped. Others were discovered during a search of a Toronto home, said Johnson.
The components, originally obtained from a company near Boston, are critical as part of a larger device to enrich uranium to weapons grade.
Yadegari faces up to 10 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine, if convicted.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.