Posted on February 3, 2005

Businessman Faces New Nuke Probe Charges

Matt Apuzzo, AP, Feb. 2

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — An American businessman installed a restricted U.S. satellite system on an Iranian oil tanker and helped smuggle computer equipment to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, federal prosecutors said.

Mohammad Farahbakhsh, 43, already faces smuggling charges for allegedly funneling pressure sensors to Iran. He was indicted Wednesday on new charges spelling out a scheme to sell prohibited equipment to his native country.

Between 1998 and 2000, Farahbakhsh sold computer parts from National Instruments, based in Austin, Texas, to the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, a branch of the Iranian government “involved in developing and producing ballistic and cruise missiles,” prosecutors said.

He allegedly hid the deal using an Iranian bank with a branch in the United Arab Emirates.