19 December 2009

Iranian Arms Dealer Gets 5 Years

Following up our earlier story, Iranian arms trafficker Amir Ardebili gets a 5-year vacation, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

An Iranian arms trafficker was sentenced in Delaware on Monday to five years in prison after being snared in a global undercover investigation.

Amir Hossein Ardebili, 36, pleaded guilty last year to violating U.S. arms control laws by trying to purchase components for Iranian fighter planes and missile guidance systems. His case offers a rare look into the faceoff between Washington and Tehran that is increasingly reminiscent of the Cold War.

Ardebili does not fit the profile of high-rolling arms merchants who have been arrested in similar stings around the world. An engineer, he lived in Iran with his parents. Until undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents lured Ardebili to a sit-down in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, he had never left his homeland.

Nonetheless, Ardebili did millions of dollars in business as a covert supplier of the Iranian military, according to court documents. During a secretly videotaped meeting in a dingy Tbilisi hotel room in October 2007, he told agents posing as American and European businessmen that the stakes were high.

By: Brant

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