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Iranian national charged in alleged plot to export US military antennas

An Iranian national has been charged with a plot to export military antennas from the U.S. to Singapore and Hong Kong -- a violation of the Arms Export Control Act -- the Justice Department said Tuesday. 

An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Washington on Tuesday charges Amin Ravan and his Iran-based company of conspiracy to defraud the United States, smuggling, and violating the export act.

The Justice Department said that Ravan was arrested by authorities in Malaysia on Oct. 10, and the U.S. is seeking to extradite him to face trial in Washington. The department said that 55 military antennas were exported to Ravan's co-conspirators in Singapore and Hong Kong.

If convicted of all charges, Ravan faces up to 35 years in prison.

The Justice Department said that Ravan, who at times acted as an agent of IC Market Iran (IMI), tried in 2006 and 2007 to "procure for shipment to Iran export-controlled antennas made by a company in Massachusetts, through an intermediary in Iran."

"The antennas sought by Ravan were cavity-backed spiral antennas suitable for airborne or shipboard direction finding systems or radar warning receiver applications, as well as biconical antennas that are suitable for airborne and shipboard environments, including in several military aircraft," the department said in a news release Tuesday

His first attempt proved unsuccessful, U.S. officials said, but Ravan allegedly managed to get a total of 50 cavity-backed spiral antennas and five biconical antennas from the U.S. to Singapore and Hong Kong between July and September 2007.

"According to the indictment, no party to these transactions -- including Ravan or IMI -- ever applied for or received a license from the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to export any of these antennas from the United States to Singapore or Hong Kong," the Justice Department said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.