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A US court in the state of Maryland has convicted Ali Saboonchi, 34, of violating the trade embargo against Iran, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Saboonchi, who faces up to 20 years in prison, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy and seven counts of illegally transporting US manufactured goods and services to Iran, following a two week trial.

He himself is a US citizen but was working with two Iranian citizens to set up a system in which Saboonchi would export to third countries before having the goods sent to Iran.

Several materials were exported, including pumps and valves, filter elements and flow meters. Prosecutors noted these materials are used in the oil and gas, chemical, water and nuclear power industries.

During the trial prosecutors gave evidence that Saboonchi set up an electric company in which he paid for and delivered most of the goods himself. He then exported the materials to his co-conspirators in the UAE, once also to China, who would then get the products to Iran, thus evading the US embargo. The co-conspirators themselves were arrested in 2013.

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