Nuclear export plot: US indicts Iranian and Chinese citizens

WASHINGTON, DC - A federal grand jury has indicted two men, one from Iran and the other from China, on charges of conspiring to send materials from the United States to Iran for the purpose of enriching uranium, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.

Iranian citizen Parviz Khaki was arrested in May in the Philippines, while the other, Zongcheng Yi of China, remains at large, the department said.

The two men succeeded in illegally exporting lathes and nickel-alloy wire from the United States to China and then to Iran in 2009, the department said.

The men allegedly purchased the materials from U.S. companies without divulging the ultimate destination, in violation of export controls.

Khaki attempted to obtain radioactive source material, including from an undercover government agent in 2009 and 2011, but did not succeed, the department said.

The indictment was handed up by a grand jury in Washington on Thursday and released on Friday. (Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Jackie Frank and David Brunnstrom)