The Justice Department has forfeited the largest-ever cache of weaponry seized from Iranian-flagged vessels at sea, after a federal jury found an Iranian company guilty of smuggling more than $6 million worth of prohibited arms to Iran in violation of U.S. law.
The long-running case against Heman Movahed and his company Long Sayan Holdings was handed down in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, after a jury in Manhattan federal court found Movahed guilty of one count of conspiracy and three counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. He was cleared of three other charges.
Movahed attempted to trade Iranian arms for Venezuelan oil but overstepped his bounds, officials said. Long Sayan was found guilty of illegally exporting weapons to Iran, illegally importing items to be trafficked to Iran, and shipping products to Iran without a license.
The convictions come amid growing concern about increased purchases of weapons from Iran despite the renewed push in Washington to defeat Iranian missiles and combat its involvement in regional conflicts. President Trump recently imposed sanctions on Iran and decertified the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
This case was one of two major ones that the Justice Department was pursuing against Iran-linked companies, the other being the arrest and indictment of Khosrow Afghahi, an Iranian actor known for his role in “Anchorman.” Afghahi, who allegedly fraudulently advertised to promote “cheap, trustworthy toys” to North Koreans, is charged with violating the Iran Trading with the Enemy Act.