Prison Break; Who are the seven Iranian captives USA released in the recent swap with Iran?
USA released and dropped the charges of seven unjustly detained Iranians from prison this week, in cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran due to a prisoner swap that was part of the Nuclear Deal. In exchange, Iran released several accused American spies, one of which traveled from Syria and into Iran shortly before his arrest; now reported to be on his way home to the USA. His case was independent from the other US prisoners released. While US media has gone hog wild reporting on the release of the American prisoners, little attention has been given to the captives the Islamic Republic will be more than happy to see released by the USA. Many Iranians are waiting to celebrate their absolute release, but one question lingers, “Who are they? Here is little a information provided by the US Justice Department on the Iranians that will be released – many were in prison with insufficient evidence – in exchange for the five Americans/US nationals held by Iran.
Modanlo is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for “violating the trade embargo” by helping Iran launch it’s first-ever satellite into orbit.
“According to court documents, Modanlo was a mechanical engineer who received science and engineering degrees from George Washington University. Modanlo said in court he was an internationally recognized expert on strategic policy and finances affecting the space-based telecommunications industry, and that he managed space and science programs for private companies, the Department of Defense and NASA.”
Mechanic, a dual citizen who lives in Houston, he was indicted last year on charges he “illegally exported millions of dollars in U.S. technology to Iran.”
Mechanic, 69, is the co-owner of Iran-based Faratel Corporation and its Houston-based sister company Smart Power Systems. “Between July 2010 and 2015, Mechanic’s network allegedly obtained 28 million parts valued at about $24 million worth and shipped them to Iran through Taiwan and Turkey. Among the parts shipped were microelectronics and digital signal processors, according to the indictment.”
*Little evidence to back up the charges was submitted in court.
Khosrow Afghahi (imprisonment by association)
“Afghahi co-owns Faratel Corporation in Iran and Houston-based Smart Power Systems with Mechanic, according to an indictment.”
U.S. prosecutors had alleged Afghahi, 72, of Los Angeles, helped Mechanic to illegally provide U.S. technology to Iran.
Tooraj Faridi (imprisonment by association)
“Faridi, 46, is vice president of a Smart Power Systems and along with Afghahi assisted Mechanic in the illegal transfer of U.S. technology to Iran, as alleged in court.”
“Mechanic, assisted by Afghahi and Faridi, also of Houston, regularly received lists of commodities, including U.S.-origin microelectronics, sought by Faratel in Iran, according to an indictment.”
Ghahraman, 46, was sentenced to more than six years in prison last year for violating the trade embargo after he purchased supposed marine navigation equipment and military electronic equipment he shipped to Iran.
Prosecutors argued in court the naturalized U.S. citizen, who lived in Staten Island, New York, “acted as an agent of an Iranian procurement network and used a front company in Dubai to illegally acquire U.S. goods and technologies to be sent to Iran.”
A maritime engineer, Ghahraman also worked at shipyards in the U.S.
Golestaneh, an Iranian national, is thought to have been coerced to plead guilty in order to face lesser punishment to a crime he did not commit. He plead guilty to hacking the computer system of Arrow Tech, a Vermont-based aerodynamics company and U.S. defense contractor.
“Golestaneh, 30, was arrested in Turkey in 2013 and extradited to the United States last year. He was the only Iranian released Saturday who doesn’t have dual citizenship.”
“Ali Saboonchi was a U.S. citizen who was living in Parkville, Maryland at the time of his arrest.”
Saboonchi, 35, was unjustly convicted in 2014 of exporting industrial products to Iran though companies in China and the United Arab Emirates.
Since 9/11 The Islamophobic justice system of the USA has used the excuse of “sanctions violations” – with little evidence for supporting their cases – in order to gain prison convictions against innocent Iranians and those with US/Iranian citizenship. Hundreds of other cases like the ones presented above are still facing scrutiny from the treacherous US justice system in place today today.