American Defense Contractor 'Spied for Iran'

Defense contractor and joint US-Iranian citizen charged over attempt to pass sensitive military information on to Iran

Ari Soffer,

USAF Joint Strike Fighter
USAF Joint Strike Fighter
Flash 90

An American citizen is being charged with spying for Iran, after attempting to pass on classified military documents to the Islamic Republic.

The US Attorney's Office in Connecticut said that 59-year-old Mozaffar Khazaee, who holds both American and Iranian citizenship, attempted to pass on sensitive, classified military documents, including information relating to the US Air Force's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), as well as "military jet engines".

Prior to Khazaee's arrest, law enforcement agencies had seized an Iranian-bound cargo shipment with 44 boxes of items labeled "House Hold Goods".

But upon opening the containers, agents "discovered thousands of pages contained in dozens of manuals/binders relating to the JSF program," such as technical specifications, diagrams and blueprints detailing the inner workings of the jet's engine, according to CNN. Khazaee was apparently able to get hold of such sensitive material due to his position as an engineer for an unspecified US defense contractor.

He was arrested last week as he attempted to board a flight to Frankfurt, Gemany, from Newark Liberty International Airport, and stands accused of "transporting, transmitting and transferring in interstate or foreign commerce goods obtained by theft, conversion, or fraud", charges which could see him jailed for up to 10 years, and incur a fine of up to $250,000.