US man jailed for ‘helping Iran space program’
Iran Press TV
Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:7PM GMT
A Maryland citizen has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for allegedly assisting Iran to launch its first research satellite.
Nader Modanlo was handed the sentence on Friday by a US federal judge, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors had asked for up to 20 year for the 53-year-old Potomac resident while his attorney said that his client should not spend more than 27 months in jail.
Earlier this year, a jury found Modanlo guilty of allegedly violating US trade sanctions against Iran by brokering a deal to help the country launch an Earth-observation satellite from Russia in 2005.
The launch of the Sina-1 satellite into orbit marked the practical start of Iran's space program.
Madanlo’s defense team says the US government has failed to present any evidence that Sina-1 satellite was or could be used for military purposes.
The judge also ordered Modanlo to pay a $10-million penalty.
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