WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — An Iranian-American defense contractor has pleaded guilty to passing classified information to Iran about the US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and F-22 Raptor program, the US Justice Department announced.
“Mozaffar Khazaee… pleaded guilty today… to violating the Arms Export Control Act, in connection with his efforts to send to Iran sensitive, proprietary, trade secret and export controlled material relating to military jet engines for the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter program and the F-22 Raptor program, which he had stolen from defense contractors where he had previously been employed,” the US Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Khazaee said he was “looking for an opportunity to work in Iran, and… transferring my skill and knowledge to my nation,” according to court documents.
The contractor also sent secret electronic documents to Iran, the US Justice Department said, and in 2013 attempted to ship there several boxes with digital content containing thousands of technical documents on the F35 and F-22 aircraft programs.
US authorities arrested Khazaee in January of 2014 at the Newark Liberty International Airport before boarding a flight to Iran. His luggage contained sensitive information related to jet engines, according to the US Justice Department.
Khazaee is scheduled to be sentenced on May 20 and could face up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.