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January 16, 2014 6:00 am

U.S.-Iranian Citizen Arrested for Giving Military Secrets to Tehran

avatar by Abha Shankar

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The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Photo: Andy Wolfe.

A criminal complaint charged Mozaffar Khazaee (aka Arash Khazaie) of shipping secret copyrighted documents relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines to Iran.

Khazaee, who became naturalized in 1991 and holds dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, allegedly obtained the information from defense contractors with whom he had been employed as an engineer.

The investigation against Khazaee opened in November after investigators from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) noticed a shipment that Khazaee sent by truck from Connecticut to a freight forwarder in Long Beach, California. Although the documentation on the shipment said that it contained household goods, inspectors found “numerous boxes of documents consisting of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, and other proprietary material relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter program and military jet engines,” an affidavit attached to the complaint said.

Khazaee, who recently moved from Connecticut to Indianapolis, was arrested in Newark before he could get on a connecting flight to Frankfurt on his way to Tehran.

He made an initial court appearance Monday. The charge against him carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if Khazaee is convicted.

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