France is trying to release the Iranian engineer that the US wants
AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France – French prosecutors call on the appeals court to approve the extradition of an Iranian engineer to the United States after his arrest for violating US sanctions against Tehran.
41-year-old Jalal Rohollahnejad was arrested at Nice airport on February 2 after coming from Tehran via Moscow, where he obtained a professional visa for professional reasons.
According to court officials, two US judges for the District of Colombia were suspected of being involved in Rohollahnejad's bid to export sensitive industrial facilities to Iran.
After breaking the 2015 milestone in which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear ambitions, Washington reintroduced an extensive trade embargo on the Islamic Republic.
The equipment, parts for industrial microwave ovens and anti-drone systems were reportedly transported secretly as part of an order for the United Arab Emirates.
Officials say they could be used to make very accurate weapons with modifications.
Rohollahnejad is suspected of working for Iranian company Rayan Roshd Afzar, who is believed to have ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
If Rohollahnejad was convicted of the alleged acts that took place between June 2016 and April 2018, he could face up to 60 years behind bars.
At Tuesday's hearing in the south-French town of Aix-en-Provence, his lawyers deny the allegations and say they are simply part of Washington's campaign to cut off Iran's economic rescue bands.
"Is it possible that the court has forgotten the situation between the US and Iran, two countries in the Cold War?" Says one lawyer, Jean-Yves Le Borgne.
However, prosecutor Serge Bocoviz claims that the alleged charge is in line with French law, which means that Rohollahnejad is not given any legal obstacle.
The Court of Appeal will give its decision on 22 May.