German convicted over Iran deals

A court on Monday convicted a German businessman of violating export laws by setting up deals to sell Iran graphite that could have been used for its missile program. He was sentenced to six years in prison. The state court in Koblenz found that between 2005 and early 2007 the 63-year-old from the Bonn area set up several deliveries of high-quality graphite to Iran - more than 15 tons in total - via an unidentified Turkish company of which he was a partner. The planned recipient was "an Iranian citizen who is known worldwide as a buyer for Iran's missile program," a court statement said. Court spokesman Tilman von Gumpert identified the suspect only as Hans-Josef H., in keeping with German privacy laws. He said the Iranian customer was a company, SHIG.