2 Plead Guilty in Plot to Ship Aircraft to Iran

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An Iranian national and a U.S. citizen who worked as an airline pilot have pleaded guilty in a Kentucky court to a plot aimed at illegally shipping aircraft and aircraft parts to Iran for civilian use.

Federal authorities say both men face up to 40 years in prison and fines of $500,000 following their guilty pleas to a two-count indictment unsealed before their hearing Monday in the federal courthouse in Louisville.

The defendants are identified as Hamid Asefi, a 68-year-old Iranian citizen, and 53-year-old Behzad "Tony" Karimian, a U.S. citizen living in Louisville who holds an Iranian passport and has worked as a Mesaba Airlines pilot.

The indictment says the two violated an embargo against Iran by plotting to ship the aircraft parts and aircraft from the U.S. to Iran in 2009 and 2010.

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