U.S.-Iranian man gets 25 years prison for trying to buy missiles for Iran
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A dual citizen of Iran and the United States was sentenced on Wednesday to 25 years in prison after he was found guilty of trying to buy surface-to-air missiles and aircraft components for the government of Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
Reza Olangian, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan. The sentence is the minimum allowed under federal law.
Prosecutors had asked the judge to impose a sentence that was longer than the minimum, although short of the life sentence suggested by federal guidelines. Preska said she did not believe a longer sentence was necessary.
“I think Judge Preska saw that 25 years is an extraordinarily long time and that Mr. Olangian did not rise to the level of something as egregious as that,” Gregory Morvillo, Olangian’s lawyer, said after the sentencing.
Olangian was convicted by a jury in November 2016 of crimes that included conspiring to acquire and transfer anti-aircraft missiles.
His lawyers have said in court filings that Olangian will appeal his conviction. At his trial, they said Olangian was an opponent of the government of Iran, and that his efforts to broker weapons sales were actually meant as a sting operation to expose Iran’s efforts to evade U.S. sanctions.