The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged a 33-year-old Iranian citizen with violating US export laws and sanctions against Iran by procuring parts for Iranian airlines.

In a statement, the DOJ said it had charged Peyman Amiri Larijani, formerly resident in Istanbul, Turkey, in two separate indictments in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The first indictment returned on April 22, 2015, covers 34 counts and charged Larijani and a Turkey-based company, Kral Havacilik IC VE DIS Ticaret Sirketi (Kral Aviation), with conspiracy to acquire US origin aircraft parts and goods for onward transmission to entities and end-users in Iran. It also charged the two with concealing from US companies and the US government that the US-origin goods were in fact destined for Iranian commercial carriers, and that they and other accomplices intended to profit financially from the transactions.

Beginning around December 2010 through July 2012, Larijani was the Operations Manager for Kral Aviation. He and his accomplices allegedly purchased US-origin aircraft parts and accessories from US companies. They then wired money to US banks as payment. Once the goods arrived in Istanbul, they were then shipped to airlines in Iran including Mahan Air (W5, Tehran Mehrabad) (a Specially Designated National - SDN), Sahand Airlines (DH, Shiraz), and Kish Air (Y9, Tehran Mehrabad). The US Department of Commerce has since placed Kral Aviation on its Entity List.

The second indictment, covering four counts, returned on October 6, 2016, and charged Larijani along with Mahan Air, Kral Aviation, Toufan Amiri Larijani, Javad Rajabi, Mehdi Bahrami, and Ghodratollah Zarei with:

  • conspiracy to export US goods to Iran, specifically US origin commercial aircraft engines;
  • providing services to Mahan Air, an SDN, and to defraud the United States, the US Department of the Treasury, and the US Department of Commerce;
  • unlawful exports and attempted exports to an embargoed country and the provision of services to an SDN;
  • willfully violating a denial order;
  • conspiracy to commit money laundering for purchasing a US origin aircraft engine to supply to Mahan Air in Iran without obtaining an export license.

From around April 2012 through to September 2012, Larijani and his accomplices attempted to acquire US origin aircraft engines to supply to Mahan Air in Iran without obtaining a license or other authorisation from the United States. Once secured, the parts were then sent to Iran.

If convicted, Larijani faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.