Iran: January 24, 2001


Two men have been arrested in California as agents for Iran. They ran a company called Multicore Systems and had bought spare parts for F-14A, F-5E/F, and F-4D/E fighters. They tried to ship the parts to Iran through Singapore, which is well known as a transshipment point for smuggling weapons to Iran. The Iranians have about 30 operational F-14s and are able to make about 70% of the needed spare parts themselves. As there are no other users of the F-14, however, they have to obtain certain key parts directly from the US, and have done so in the past through numerous false-front companies and smugglers. The Iranians have been able to buy parts for F-5s and F-4s from numerous sources, but have often taken the opportunity to buy additional parts directly from the US.--Stephen V Cole


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