US customs officials have charged two foreign nationals in California with plotting to illegally export US aircraft parts to the Iranian air force, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
The suspects, identified as Saeed Homayouni, a naturalized Canadian from Iran, and Yew Leng Fung, a Malaysian citizen, were arrested Thursday at an apartment in Bakersfield, California, and charged with trying to arrange the illegal export of parts for three US-made fighter jets: the F-14, the F-5 Tiger and the F-4 Phantom, according to the Post.
The F-14 parts were destined for the Iranian air force, according to a complaint filed by the customs service. The document did not indicate where the part for the F-5 and F-4 were destined.
The suspects were arrested by customs agents after a 20-month federal investigation. Homayouni pleaded not guilty at a hearing Friday. Fung's arraignment was postponed until Monday so that a Cantonese interpreter could be present in court, according to the daily.
The F-14, a multi-role fighter manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corporation, is flown only by the US and Iranian armed forces.
Iran acquired about 100 F-14s from the United States in the 1970s, before the country's Islamic revolution. It is believed to have about 25 of the aircraft in service, the newspaper said – WASHINGTON (AFP)
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