Yadegari Appeal Denied by Canadian Court

by Andrea Stricker

April 14, 2011

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On April 12, the Ontario Court of Appeal denied the appeal of Mahmoud Yadegari, who was convicted in July 2010 of illegally attempting to export nuclear dual-use pressure transducers obtained in the United States from Canada to Iran via transshipment in Dubai. Pressure transducers can be used to measure the gas pressure of uranium hexafluoride inside centrifuge cascades and are controlled for export to Iran by national laws and United Nations Security Council resolutions which forbid the outfitting of Iran’s enrichment program. Between 2008 and 2009, Yadegari attempted to buy and ship pressure transducers to entities affiliated with Iran’s sanctioned uranium enrichment program, particularly a procurement front of Kalaye Electric Company that operated other front companies in Dubai.

The judge who heard Yadegari’s conviction appeal stated, “[Yadegari] was persistent in obtaining the transducers, as well as quotes for many others, and deceptive in his attempt to export them. [The trial judge] held that the sentence imposed should promote a sense of responsibility in the offender, and acknowledge the potential harm to the global community. I agree.” The judge did decide to reduce Yadegari’s twenty-month sentence by three months. He has 60 days to take action toward appealing this decision which would be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Yadegari’s denial of appeal illustrates that Iran continues to face difficulties in acquiring essential equipment for its enrichment program. With greater international cooperation aimed at catching and putting on trial Iran’s smugglers and procurement agents, Iran’s enrichment program will continue to face setbacks.

The details of the judge’s decision and the cases made by both the defense and prosecution can be viewed here.

Read ISIS’s report on the Yadegari case here. The guilty verdict is detailed here and a report on the sentencing can be accessed here.

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