Two Plead Guilty To Spying In US For Iran


(JTA) — Two men have pleaded guilty to spying for Iran on charges stemming in part from their surveillance of a synagogue in Chicago and Israeli targets in the U.S.

Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 39, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 60, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, also collected identifying information about American citizens and U.S. nationals who are members of the Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

Doostdar admitted to traveling to the United States from Iran three times to meet with Ghorbani and give him instructions from Iran.

Doostdar pleaded guilty last month to one count of acting as an agent of the government of Iran without notifying the attorney general and to conspiracy. He will be sentenced on Dec. 17.

Ghorbani pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., to one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. He will be sentenced on Jan. 15.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years; the maximum penalty for acting as an agent of a foreign power is 10 years; and the maximum penalty for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act is 20 years.