Iranian businessman Behzad Pourghannad was sentenced on Wednesday to 46 months in prison for violating US sanctions against Iran, the US Justice Department announced yesterday in a statement.Pourghannad had plead guilty on August 29 before a US magistrate judge for charges of participating in a conspiracy to export carbon fiber from the United States to Iran between 2008 and 2013. “Pourghannad falsified shipment documents and used front companies to export carbon fiber to Iran in violation of US sanctions,” said John C. Demers, assistant attorney of national security. “Carbon fiber is used by the Iranian Regime to further its nuclear, military, and aerospace programs. We continue to thwart the efforts of the Iranian regime to evade our sanctions and work steadfastly with our international partners to investigate, prosecute and bring sanctions violators to justice.”According to Geoffrey Berman, US attorney for the southern district of New York, "Behzad Pourghannad conspired to circumvent US export controls on carbon fiber, a substance with numerous military and aerospace applications. The significant sentence Pourghannad received should send a message that such violations, which threaten our national security, will incur stiff penalties.”Pourghannad lived and worked in Iran between 2008 and July 2013 with his two codefendants, Ali Reza Shokri and Farzin Faridmanesh. During that period, they worked together to export carbon fiber obtained from the US to Iran via third countries, in violation of US sanctions. Shokri in particular worked to obtain several tons of carbon fiber from the US; Pourghannad agreed to serve as the financial guarantor for large transactions; and Faridmanesh was to serve as trans-shipper. Carbon fiber is a multi-use product, and can be used in missiles, aerospace engineering and gas centrifuges that enrich uranium. According to the indictment, as well as other documents from the case, there were numerous specific transactions and trans-shipment that took place over the span of these six years. No one involved in the transactions had received any permission from the US Treasury to export the fiber.Attorney Berman praised the FBI and US Commerce Department for their work in the investigation, as well as the Justice Department's National Security Division, Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs, the US Marshals and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.