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Export Privilege Suspended for O.C. Man and Iranian

April 17, 1993|TED JOHNSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday temporarily denied exporting privileges to an Orange County man and an Iranian national after they were charged with shipping a sophisticated computer to Iran.

Reza Zandian, 41, of Iran and Paris and Charles R. Reger, 57, of Huntington Beach were indicted in January on charges of attempting to export a controlled commodity, conspiracy and making a false statement to the Commerce Department. If convicted on all three charges, each man would face a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a fine of as much as $750,000. Their trial is set for May.

Federal prosecutors allege that the men tried to ship the International Business Machines mainframe computer to Iran through Paris by air from Los Angeles International Airport after the Commerce Department turned them down for a license to export it to Iran. Federal law prohibits the export of such powerful computers to Iran and other countries that do not have friendly relations with the United States, fearing that the technology will be put to military use.

The Commerce Department action bars the two men from making exports for 180 days. Such orders are issued only about a dozen times a year when there is concern that an individual or business will "violate the law in the future," a Bureau of Export Administration official said.

Zandian, who had a Newport Beach address, allegedly operated through two small companies managed by Reger--Lucach Corp.-Computerworld in Irvine and Iran Business Machines in Costa Mesa.

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