'Canadian tried to export nuke parts'

Police say Iranian-born Canadian charged with trying to export nuclear technology to his native country.

iran nuclear plant isfahan 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
iran nuclear plant isfahan 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
An Iranian-born Canadian citizen has been charged with trying to export nuclear technology to Iran, his native country, police said Friday. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Greg Johnson said Mahmoud Yadegari tried to ship pressure transducers, which are devices used to make enriched uranium. While the devices are easy to obtain, Sgt. Marc Laporte told The Associated Press that Yadegari improperly described the items, understated their value and physically removed some of the packaging and labeling when trying to ship them to a company in Dubai who had affiliations in Iran. The US and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons secretly under the guise of a civilian atomic energy program. Iran denies the charges and insists its efforts are aimed at producing nuclear power only. Canadian police, acting on a tip from the US Department of Homeland Security, said Yadegari purchased 10 transducers from a Boston-area company for about 1,100 Canadian dollars each ($900). Police declined to release the name of the US company that sold him the transducers. They said Yadegari took steps to conceal what the transducers were so he could export them overseas without export permits. "The declared point of destination was Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. However, we have evidence to support the fact that its ultimate destination was Iran," Johnson told reporters during a news conference. Laporte said police found evidence to suggest that the Dubai company would ship the items to its affiliate company in Iran. The UN Security Council banned exports of nuclear-related technology to Iran in 2006 because of what it considers efforts to build nuclear weapons. Yadegari, who police said is a Toronto businessman in his mid-30s, is charged under the Customs Act and Export Import Permits Act, and is also accused of violating UN sanctions on Iran. Penalties under the Export Act alone include fines of up to CAD$1,000,000 ($825,700) and up to 10 years in prison. He is in jail pending a bail hearing. Police said they do not know what lawyer is representing him.