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Ex-Advisor to Iran UN Mission Gets Jail Term

Ex-Advisor to Iran UN Mission Gets Jail TermEx-Advisor to Iran UN Mission Gets Jail Term

A former consultant to Iran’s mission to the United Nations was sentenced by a US court to three months in prison on Friday for evading taxes by concealing his income and helping family and friends make money transfers that violated US sanctions against Iran. Ahmad Sheikhzadeh, an Iran-born US citizen, strongly denied accusations made by prosecutors in a court filing last year that he acted improperly by arranging contacts between a nuclear scientist and Iranian officials while Iran was negotiating a treaty with the United States over its nuclear program, Reuters reported. Prosecutors never brought any criminal charges related to the nuclear program against Sheikhzadeh, who pleaded guilty in November 2016 only to filing false tax returns and conspiring to violate US sanctions.

Sheikhzadeh, 61, was bitterly defiant as he addressed the judge before he was sentenced, saying that prosecutors had targeted him to pressure him to act as an informant from within the Iran mission. “That’s a red line and I won’t do it,” he recalled telling authorities. He said he had accepted responsibility by pleading guilty. Sheikhzadeh, speaking to reporters after the hearing, called the prison sentence “very unfair”.

 

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