You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Man arrested for attempted transfer of F-35 data to Iran

Jan. 13, 2014 - 07:01PM   |  
An F-35B test aircraft flies in short takeoff/vertical landing mode in November. A naturalized U.S. citizen was arrested last week on charges of attempting to ship technical data on the plane to Iran.
An F-35B test aircraft flies in short takeoff/vertical landing mode in November. A naturalized U.S. citizen was arrested last week on charges of attempting to ship technical data on the plane to Iran. (Lockheed Martin)
  • Filed Under

WASHINGTON — A man was arrested on charges of attempting to ship technical data from the F-35 joint strike fighter to Iran, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Mozaffar Khazaee was arrested Jan. 9 at Newark International Airport in New Jersey after the first leg of a trip to Tehran. Khazaee, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991, was charged with “transporting, transmitting and transferring in interstate or foreign commerce goods obtained by theft, conversion, or fraud,” a crime that carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

According to a U.S. government affidavit, federal agents began investigating Khazaee in November, when he attempted to send a shipment from Connecticut to the Iranian city of Hamadan. When agents inspected the shipment, they found “numerous boxes of documents consisting of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, and other proprietary material for the F-35.” Those documents came from a company that Khazaee had last worked at in August.

Overall, the shipment included thousands of pages of documents, including diagrams and blueprints of the high-tech fighter jet’s engine. Some of the information was marked as being export-controlled information.

The affidavit does not identify which company Khazaee was employed by, but it said he worked on a team conducting strength and durability evaluations for components for military engines.

However, Matthew Bates, a spokesman for jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, confirmed that Pratt is the company referred to as “Company A” in the affidavit.

“Pratt & Whitney has been cooperating fully with the government on this matter and will continue to do so,” Bates said. “Because the investigation is ongoing, any additional questions about the investigation are better suited for the government to address at the appropriate time.”

Property of two other unidentified companies was also included in the shipment. Rolls-Royce, a subcontractor on the engine program, is one possibility; the affidavit cites Khazaee as returning to Indiana, where a U.S. operation of the British company is based, after he left Connecticut.

A spokesman for Rolls confirmed that Khazaee is not a current employee, but referred further comment to the Department of Justice.

A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the program, said the company is cooperating fully with the investigation. But she declined further comment, “as the investigation is ongoing.”

“The F-35 Joint Program Office has been alerted to the investigation, and will cooperate fully with legal authorities pursuing the case,” Joe DellaVedova, the program’s Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. “No additional comment will be made while the investigation is ongoing.”

In early 2013, government officials acknowledged that computer hackers, most likely Chinese, had stolen information about the fifth-generation fighter, which is expected to be the backbone of American air superiority over the next several decades.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

First sergeant vs. master sergeant
Choose the rank that's best for your career

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook