Monday May 27, 2024

French court grants Iranian engineer’s extradition to US

March 12, 2020

PARIS: France´s highest court on Wednesday approved the extradition to the United States of an Iranian engineer arrested for violating American sanctions against his home country.

Jalal Rohollahnejad was detained at Nice airport in February 2019 after arriving from Tehran via Moscow, having obtained a French work visa. According to court officials, two US judges for the District of Columbia suspect that Rohollahnejad was involved in a bid to export sensitive industrial equipment to Iran.

After pulling out of a landmark 2015 deal in which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions, Washington re-imposed a wide-ranging trade embargo on the Islamic Republic. The equipment, parts for industrial microwaves and anti-drone systems, was allegedly being transported clandestinely as part of an order destined for the United Arab Emirates.

Officials claim that with modifications, it could be used for making ultra-precise weapons. Rohollahnejad is suspected of working on behalf of Iranian firm Rayan Roshd Afzar, which is thought to have links to Iran´s Revolutionary Guards. If convicted for his alleged actions, which took place between June 2016 and April 2018, Rohollahnejad could face up to 60 years behind bars. At a hearing in the southern French town of Aix-en-Provence last April, his lawyers denied the charges, saying they were part of a campaign by Washington to cut off Iran´s economic lifelines.