Press TV - A US federal court has
sentenced an Iranian woman to five years in prison on charges of attempting to
export night-vision goggles to Iran.
Shahrzad Mir-Gholikhan, 31, was found guilty in December of violating trade
laws after appearing in the Florida federal court, the Miami New Times reported
According to the US government, Mir-Gholikhan and her former husband, Mahmoud
Seif, had attempted to buy more than 3,500 sets of the goggles for exports to
During the trial, Prosecutor Michael Walleisa asked the Fort Lauderdale
federal judge for a prison term of more than 10 years for Mir-Gholikhan, arguing
that the woman had endangered US national security.
In April 2008, Mir-Gholikhan pleaded guilty to one of the charges brought
against her in exchange for a 'time served' sentence.
However, Mir-Gholikhan withdrew her plea when US District Judge James Cohn
increased her prison term to two years and five months, claiming that there was
an error in the initial calculation.
Mir-Gholikhan and her husband were first arrested during a 2004 visit to
Vienna, Austria, where a US government informant posing as a weapons dealer had
showed them a sample goggle.
However, they returned to Iran after being released by Austrian officials.
US authorities believe that Seif remained in Iran and did not accompany Mir-Gholikhan
when she voluntarily flew to the US in December 2007.
Cohn said Mir-Gholikhan deserved some credit for handing herself over
voluntarily to face the charges. "Without that, I think we can all agree she
would not be before the court."
While passing the sentence, the judge claimed that Mir-Qholikhan had
compromised the safety of US troops. This is while Iranian and American forces
are not involved in any direct military conflict.
In a similar case Iran's former ambassador to Jordan Nosratollah Tajik was
arrested in Britain in November 2006 after being accused of trying to purchase
night vision goggles from US mediators.
Tajik, who suffers from a chronic heart ailment, has been in limbo for the
past six months with his case suspended and no sign of the long-awaited final
decision on whether he should to be extradited to the US.