March 24, 2006:
A Pakistani man, Arif Ali Durrani, who spent five years in prison in the early 1990s for illegally exporting weapons components to Iran, has been convicted again for the same thing. This time, Durrani was operating out of Mexico, using an American, a former naval intelligence officer, to do a lot of the legwork in the United States. Durrani was trying to get the Iranians parts for their U.S. built F-5 fighters and CH-47 helicopters. The Iranians have been keeping these three decade old American aircraft in flying condition by using smugglers like Durrani to arrange illegal shipments of parts. Typically, the parts are sent to a third country, and then to Iran. This time around, Durrani is facing 45 years in prison.
The Durrani prosecution will not slow down the Iranians, who get most of their weapons shopping done in Europe. In Germany alone, there are over a hundred dummy companies that do nothing but expedite the illegal shipment of weapons parts, and industrial goods used to make weapons.