National Security

Traitorous CEO Nabbed For Allegedly Sending Rocket Powder To Iran

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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The FBI just nabbed a CEO for allegedly shipping 1,000 pounds of rocket powder to Iran.

Erdal Kuyumcu, the 44-year-old U.S. citizen and Turkish CEO of Global Metallurgy, sent over cobalt-nickel metallic powder via Turkey to Iran. According to the Department of Justice, Kuyumcu got away with the export procedure twice before being arrested for illegal activity, as he did not possess a license from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“As alleged, Erdal Kuyumcu intentionally misrepresented illegal business transactions to make them appear legitimate, thereby threatening national security and violating federal statutes,” said Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez. “The FBI works with our partners, such as the Department of Commerce, to keep weapons of mass destruction and other embargoed technologies from falling into the wrong hands, to protect national assets, and to strengthen the global threat picture.”

Kuyumcu’s arrest may indicate the Iranian government does not at all intend to abide by the nuclear agreement signed in 2015. Iran has continued working on its missile program since the deal was signed, but has stated that none of the missiles can carry nuclear weapons, meaning no violations are taking place.

Kuyumcu worked with another co-conspirator to hide the final destination of the product and used the code name of “neighbor” to refer to Iran, which borders Turkey. It is not clear exactly who in Iran was trying to acquire the powder. Occasionally, elements of the Iranian government work independently and covertly on weapons programs that run afoul of agreements. Usually, higher-up officials in the Iranian government crackdown on rogue programs, but these crackdowns are neither universal nor always effective in preventing deep state elements from pursuing their ends.

One Iranian weapons expert, Babak Taghvaee, told The Daily Beast apparently Iranian buyers wanted the powder for a missile experiment.

“In circumventing U.S. law, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the defendant harmed our nation’s security,” Assistant Attorney General Carlin said. “The department will continue to vigorously pursue and hold accountable those who evade our export laws in pursuit of profit.”

At this point, Kuyumcu faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million if convicted.

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