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Hossein Pournaghshband, an Iranian citizen, was sanctioned by the United States in January 2016 for allegedly providing material assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Mabrooka Trading, Pournaghshband’s company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was attempting to purchase a carbon-fiber production line from Asia on behalf of an Iranian company, according to the US Treasury. Carbon fiber is an important material in the development of ballistic missiles.
A total of eleven entities and individuals were included in the 2016 sanctions, six of which the Treasury described as part of a network that “obfuscated the end user of sensitive goods for missile proliferation by using front companies.”
Elements of the network also allegedly collaborated with North Korea on its own missile programs.
Rahim Reza Farghandani, the managing director of Candid General Trading, one of the sanctioned companies, told Reuters that it had been included by mistake simply because it shared office space with Mabrooka. The two firms also shared the same majority shareholder. Farghandani also said that Mabrooka was no longer operating and that Pournaghshband had left the UAE.
Pournaghshband has made no public statements in response to the sanctions and did not respond to requests for comment.
Pournaghshband appears in a leaked database of property and residency data compiled by assorted real estate professionals provided to C4ADS and shared with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in connection with two properties in Dubai, each valued at about US$ 500,000.
One is in the Claren Towers, a set of twin mid-rise residential buildings in downtown Dubai that include a landscaped pool deck, community center, high speed elevators, and round-the-clock security.
His other property is located in the South Ridge towers, a complex of six high-rise towers with a swimming pool, squash and badminton courts that overlook downtown Dubai.
This story is part of the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium, a collaboration started by OCCRP and Transparency International. For more information, click here.