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U.S. Charges Two Iranians With Selling Sensitive Defense Software To Iran

The United States on July 17 charged two Iranians with hacking a defense contractor and stealing sensitive software used to design bullets and warheads, the Justice Department said.

An unsealed indictment says Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35, recruited Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39, to break into companies' computers to steal their software for resale to Iran's universities, military, and government.

The two men -- and a third who was arrested in 2013 and handed back to Iran in a prisoner swap last year -- allegedly broke into the computers of Arrow Tech Associates.

The indictment said they stole software which is used to design and test bullets, warheads, and other military ordnance.

The material stolen from Arrow Tech was protected by U.S. controls on the export of sensitive technologies, and its distribution to Iran was banned by U.S. sanctions on the country.

A U.S. District Court in Vermont also issued arrest warrants for the two other suspects who are believed to be in Iran.

In 2013, Turkey extradited a third Iranian in the case, Nima Golestaneh, 30, to the United States.

In December 2015, Golestaneh pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and computer hacking. One month later he was freed as part of a prisoner exchange with Tehran.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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