December 15, 2017 8:27 pm
Updated: December 15, 2017 9:18 pm

Canadian-Iranian who conspired to export weapons to Iran sentenced to prison in U.S.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard displays air defense systems during a military parade in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 21, 2012.


A Canadian-Iranian dual citizen has been sentenced to 32 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to participating in a plot to violate U.S. weapons sanctions against Iran.

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Ali Soofi conspired to export military products to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a press release.

In addition to the prison term, Soofi, 63, was sentenced to one year of supervised release. His guilty plea and conviction mean he can be deported or suffer “other adverse immigration consequences,” according to the plea agreement.

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According to the U.S. Attorney SDNY, Soofi conspired to export military items from the U.S. to Iran between 2014 and December 2016, both directly and through intermediaries.

“Over the course of the conspiracy, Soofi sought to purchase and ship numerous items, including helicopters, high-tech machine gun parts, tank parts, and military vehicles, from the United States to Iran, all without a license and while knowing that such shipments were illegal under U.S. law,” the U.S. Attorney SDNY said.

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The Grand Jury indictment outlined a few examples of Soofi’s acts

In one case, Soofi sent an email to an unnamed individual attaching photos and specifications of machine gun components.

“You may arrange it for other countries and from there to Iran the customer arranges to ship by themselves,” Soofi wrote in the 2014 email, according to the Grand Jury indictment.

In November 2016, he is alleged to have taken part in a phone call in which he assured that an unnamed co-conspirator had lots of money to buy machine gun parts.

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One of Soofi’s clients was a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of Iran’s Armed Forces which has been designated a terrorist organization by the Trump administration due to its alleged support of Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban.

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Among the items Soofi sought on behalf of the IRGC were military helicopters, jet engines, Humvees, slew rings for tanks, target sights and shock absorbers that allow for high-tech machine guns to be mounted on helicopters and boats.

Global News has reached out to Global Affairs Canada for comment but hasn’t heard back by time of publication.

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