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US businessman says sent military gear to Iran

world Updated: Jan 27, 2009 01:16 IST

A US aviation company owner pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring to ship parts for American-made F-14 fighter jets and other military aircraft to Iran, prosecutors said.

Hassan Saied Keshari, an Iranian native and naturalized U.S. citizen, admitted in court documents that he procured aircraft parts through his company, Novato, California-based Kesh Air International, on behalf of buyers in Iran. The parts were shipped through freight forwarders in Dubai.

Keshari entered the guilty plea in a U.S. court in Miami on behalf of himself and Kesh Air, prosecutors said. At sentencing on April 8, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the company faces a $500,000 fine.

Keshari was indicted in June along with Traian Bujduveanu, a Romanian native and naturalized U.S. citizen, and his company, Orion Aviation of Plantation, Florida.

The charges against Bujduveanu and Orion are pending.

The indictment alleged the men shipped parts for the AH-1 attack helicopter and the CH-53A heavy-lift transport helicopter as well as the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet without the needed export licenses, in violation of the arms export control act and the Iran embargo.

U.S. authorities say there are numerous procurement networks shipping American-made products to Iran using suppliers in the United States and around the world.