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US indicts 16 over dual-use electronics exports to Iran

[JURIST] In an indictment unsealed on Wednesday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) charged [indictment, PDF; DOJ press release] sixteen individuals and companies from Iran [JURIST news archive] and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on thirteen counts related to alleged conspiracies to illegally export electronic components to Iran, in violation of US law and the US economic embargo against Iran. According to the indictment, many of the components were eventually found in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used against coalition forces in Iraq. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the sixteen individuals and businesses engaged in conspiracies that entailed the ordering of electronic components, including microwave isolators, global positioning system (GPS) units, and microchips from US manufacturers through offices in Egypt, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and the UAE, then transporting them to Iran and eventually Iraq. None of the charged individuals is presently in US custody. The Washington Post has more.

The electronic components named in the indictment are considered "dual-use" technologies by the US, indicating that they have both civilian and military uses. The export of such technologies from the US is regulated by the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) [official website].

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