back to article American jailed for smuggling controlled tech to Iran

A dual Iranian/US national has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for smuggling export-controlled technology products to end users in Iran. Kambiz Attar Kashani pled guilty to charges that he violated the International Economic Powers Act by sending hardware and software to Iran through front companies registered in the …

  1. moonhaus

    No win, no fee

    I guess this is the problem with being a dual national, especially if you have roots and/or family in both countries.

    The tough choice between living in a nation that routinely imprisons its citizens for the most tenuous of reasons, or leaving the US to live in Iran with little chance of return.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No win, no fee

      Although I liked the twist in your comment, in this case it appears to be all pretty clear. If you see the copious embargo warnings that every tech provider buries you under when you buy a product as well as the prevailing political situation then I'm afraid it's going to be rather hard to protest your innocence in court. In addition, I suspect there was a nice fat profit involved exactly due to the embargo status..

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: No win, no fee

        Every time I install Windows I have to tell it what country I live in, and I have to scroll past North Korea. I have often wondered what would happen if I selected that option.

    2. tmTM

      Re: No win, no fee

      Wherever you choose to live, you've got to abide by the laws of that country.

      Do the crime, do the time.

  2. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Company registered in UAE

    Not US jurisdiction, once again the US seems to have an issue with the concept of jurisdiction

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Company registered in UAE

      "Not US jurisdiction"

      Citizens of the US do fall under US jurisdiction. It's against US law for a US citizen to violate the laws or treaties of and with foreign countries. Rich bastards and minor celebs excepted, naturally.

    2. Black Label1
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Company registered in UAE

      "Not US jurisdiction, once again the US seems to have an issue with the concept of jurisdiction"

      This disease is called "USA Global Cop Syndrome"

      Reminds me of one of the responses from PirateBay to legal threat letters:

      "We are well aware of the fact that The Pirate Bay falls outside the

      scope of the DMCA - after all, the DMCA is a US-specific legislation,

      and TPB is hosted in the land of vikings, reindeers, Aurora Borealis and

      cute blonde girls."

      1. Silver badge

        Re: Company registered in UAE

        Don't forget cute blond boys.

  3. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge


    Is that a typo? The way the US generally treats such case, I expected *years* if not *consecutive human lifetimes*.

  4. martinusher Silver badge

    What exactly was involved?

    I plowed through the 'sentencing memorandum' to try and find out exactly what was involved. Its important because you never know quite when law enforcement will come knocking (in the US it typically just kicks the door in and points a gun at you)(no, I'm not joking, its become quite the cliche)(and sometimes they get the address wrong). They're not very explicit -- "power supplies and storage devices" could be a couple of computer PSUs and disks, for example. "Enterprise software development licenses" sound like Microsoft development toolsets, who knows?

    What is obvious is that there's a bit of a disconnect between the DoJ and Real Life In Iran. The DoJ maintains that the place is hermetically sealed off with only a few items leaking through due to determined smugglers. Real Life appears in the form of regular youTube videos made by a couple of people walking around Tehran. What the videos show us are pretty normal looking places, nothing like you'd expect from reading our media or listening to our government, and what's notable (apart from the number of women in normal clothing) is just how prevalent technology is there. I suppose sanctions must have hit hard somewhere but you'd never notice it (they seem to have a better choice of phones than we have in the US)(including 'the latest' models). The overall impression is our DoJ is living in some weird Beltway Bubble which actually makes it dangerous to us common folk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What exactly was involved?

      The overall impression is our DoJ is living in some weird Beltway Bubble which actually makes it dangerous to us common folk.

      Isn't that almost all of Washington? But I guess it's easier to drop the hammer on a not too rich individual who has violated a fairly well published embargo (it's not like they've been subtle about this), irrespective of how the country differs from the usual reporting than to do that to someone richer (allegedly) who undermined the entire allegedly "democratic" Constitutional framework and organised an insurrection, it's been vewwy, vewwy quiet on that front. It appears the only reason he won't be able to do it again as president is that now others have seen how you can get away with pretty much anything and thus want that for themselves.

      I can remember when the US saw itself as arbiter of the world. Sure, only in their own eyes, but those days are long gone. I suspect that's what their real motive is for trying to force other countries to collaborate with China embargoes (other than falsifying competition): they know that if the Chinese get their act together after their less than sterling handling of their own Covid situation they'll have a problem, as they have smart people too.

      They were better than this. Even when they were more secret about spying on everyone else instead of outsourcing it to Google, Meta and Microsoft..

  5. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Piling the Charges On

    (1) It's pretty clear he broke the law/regulations, but it's also clear that,

    (2) the US government was piling charges on him any way they could. "Fixed attenuators" sounds all high-tech and dangerous, but really, it's another way of saying, "fixed resistors", or, possibly, "coils", both of which are extremely-low tech.

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