U.S. man arrested for exporting dangerous metals to Iran

The metallic powder is used for space and nuclear activities, including missile production

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Authorities Tuesday arrested a U.S. man charged with exporting a potentially dangerous metallic powder to Iran, which is used for space and nuclear activities, including missile production, the Department of Justice said.

Erdal Kuyumcu, 44, was to appear in court in New York later in the day, on charges that carry up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

As the CEO of Global Metallurgy, he allegedly exported cobalt-nickel metallic powder to Iran twice, shipping it first through an intermediary in Turkey in order to hide its final destination, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

He attempted to send a total of more than a thousand pounds (a half ton) of the substance.

Under U.S. law, exporting such a powder to Iran is illegal without a license from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

“Those who seek to evade the scrutiny of the regulatory agencies by operating in the shadows present a danger to our national security and our allies abroad,” said US Attorney Robert Capers of the Eastern District of New York.

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