The two principals of a Newport Beach company pleaded guilty Monday to charges that they illegally shipped electronic equipment to Iran that could be used in making nuclear weapons and missile guidance systems, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Reza (Ray) Amiri, 43, an Iranian national and owner of Ray Amiri Computer Consultants, and Mohammad (Don) Danesh, 55, the firm's operations manager, had been indicted on 19 counts, including submitting false customs declarations and exporting controlled commodities such as oscilloscopes, logic analyzers and pulse generators.
Amiri pleaded guilty to five counts of making false statements and has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Patricia Beaman. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.
Danesh, a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Mission Viejo, pleaded guilty to four counts of the indictment, including illegally exporting a Universal Programming System to the Ministry of Defense in Tehran, Beaman said. He admitted that he had conspired with Amiri to illegally export controlled commodities to Iran from April, 1989, through August, 1991, according to Beaman. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $1- million fine.
Authorities have said the value of the exported equipment did not matter as much as the fact that it had military applications. Iran has been designated by the U.S. secretary of state as a "nation that has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."