A Chinese citizen faces US criminal charges that he conspired to export devices to Iran that could be used in the country’s nuclear programme, the US Justice Department said on Friday.
Federal prosecutors said Sihai Cheng supplied thousands of parts that have nuclear applications to Eyyaz, a company involved in Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, in violation of US sanctions on Iran.
The indictment, unsealed on Friday, comes as Iran and six world powers attempt to negotiate a comprehensive agreement to address Western suspicions that Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.
The talks are aimed at hammering out a long-term deal by 20 July that would define the permissible scope of Iran’s nuclear programme in return for a lifting of sanctions that are severely battering its oil-dependent economy.
Cheng was arrested in the UK in February on a US provisional arrest warrant, according to the US Attorney's office in Massachusetts, which is prosecuting the case.
He faces a hearing in June over whether he will be extradited to the United States.
Additional reporting by Reuters