A U.S. court has sentenced Iranian-U.S. citizen Mozaffar Khazaee to more than eight years in jail for trying to send sensitive U.S. military intelligence to Iran.

Mozaffar Khazaee

Mozaffar Khazaee

In February, Khazaee pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act. Khazaee used to work for defence contractors, including Pratt & Whitney.

Prosecutors accused Khazaee of stealing information related to U.S. military jet engine programs and sharing it with Iranian contacts.

Prosecutors, who were calling for 10 years in prison, wrote in a memo: “In materials that Dr. Khazaee sent to multiple state-controlled technical universities in Iran, Dr. Khazaee stated that as ‘lead engineer’ in various projects with U.S. defense contractors, he acquired material and learned ‘key technique(s) that could be transferred to our own industry and universities’.”

Khazaee, aged 61, who is currently in a Rhode Island Detention Centre, wrote to the judge to ask for leniency. A federal judge sentenced him to eight years and one month in jail and a fine of $50,000.