An Iranian-born Canadian citizen has been charged with trying to export nuclear technology to Iran, police said Friday.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Greg Johnson said Mahmoud Yadegari attempted to obtain devices that can be used to make enriched uranium but also have other military purposes.
While the devices are easy to obtain, Sgt. Marc Laporte said Yadegari improperly described the items, understated their value and physically removed some of the packaging and labeling when trying to ship them to a company in Dubai who had affiliations in Iran.
The U.S. and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons secretly under the guise of a civilian atomic energy program. Iran denies the charges and insists its efforts are aimed at producing nuclear power only.
Canadian police, acting on a tip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Yadegari obtained the transducers from the United States. They said he took steps to conceal what the transducers were so he could export them overseas without export permits.
"The declared point of destination was Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. However, we have evidence to support the fact that its ultimate destination was Iran," Johnson told reporters during a news conference.
Laporte said police found evidence to suggest that the Dubai company would ship the items to its affiliate company in Iran.
Yadegari, who police said is a Toronto businessman in his mid-30s, is charged under the Customs Act and Export Import Permits Act, and is also accused of violating U.N. sanctions on Iran.
He is in jail pending a bail hearing. Police said they do not know what lawyer is representing him.