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Two cases aim to isolate China and Iran from US technology| GuyWhoKnowsThings


The US government announced charges. in two separate cases on Wednesday aimed at enforcing laws that block the transfer of critical technologies, part of a broader campaign to hinder military efforts and weapons production in rival countries.

One of the complaints was against a Chinese-born American citizen who has been arrested and charged with stealing trade secrets from a private company. The technology, according to court documents, “would be dangerous to the national security of the United States if obtained by international actors.”

A complaint from the Department of Justice A document filed in California District Court said the stolen material would help the development of technology that allows space systems to track ballistic and hypersonic missiles. U.S. officials said technology related to hypersonic missiles and missile tracking was among the Chinese military's top priorities.

In the other complaint, the US government has charged two Iranian men with attempting to illegally acquire US goods and technology for Iran's aerospace industry. The technology, according to court documents, involved firefighting equipment and flame detectors.

The charges are the latest in a series of legal actions aimed at isolating Iran, Russia and China from American technology. A year ago, the Departments of Justice and Commerce formed the Disruptive Technology Strike Force to enforce export control laws and disrupt weapons production in Iran destined for Russia and Iranian proxy groups. It was also intended to curb China's efforts to develop advanced military technology.

Strike force officials will meet with Ukrainian representatives this week in Phoenix to discuss efforts to stem the flow of American technology and American-designed components. to RussiaIran and China.

“Our mission is to keep our country's most sensitive technology out of the world's most dangerous hands,” said Matthew S. Axelrod, assistant secretary for export control at the Commerce Department. “Nation-state actors are attempting to acquire advanced American technology so that they can modernize their militaries to such an extent that they surpass our own and change the balance of power in the world. That is what is at stake”.

US export controls targeting Beijing have attempted to prevent its government and Chinese companies from acquiring advanced chips that can be used to develop new military capabilities. Iran, however, is trying to acquire less sophisticated technology and chips, the export of which to many other countries is not blocked.

Iran uses those chips to build drones that it supplies to Russia for its war in Ukraine and to Hamas and the Houthi rebels, who have used them to attack ships in the Red Sea.

“Iran's malign activity is destabilizing in the region and supports other malign actors such as Russia,” said Matthew G. Olsen, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's national security division.

When Olsen traveled to kyiv in November, Ukrainian officials presented him with evidence of the use of American technology in Iranian-produced drones that had attacked Ukraine. He said the visit had expanded intelligence sharing between the countries to bolster US legal investigations.

U.S. officials said it was difficult to judge the direct effect of export controls. Russian missile production., for example, was initially held back by export restrictions. But as Moscow reoriented its economy toward wartime manufacturing, its level of missile production returned to and then surpassed prewar capacity.

Iran's drone production has fluctuated, potentially due to US pressure on its supply chain. And U.S. officials say they are at least making it much more expensive and difficult for Iran to supply both its proxy forces and Russia.

“When we apply sanctions and export control laws, we want to impose costs on bad actors, including Russian and Iranian actors,” Olsen said. “We want to accuse them, denounce them publicly and, if possible, arrest them.”

Law enforcement actions also have ripple effects, Olsen said. Larger companies see how Iran, Russia or China are trying to evade the rules and adopt greater compliance efforts to ensure they are not used in any attempt to smuggle the chips.

“Companies realize when there are criminal sanctions and implement stricter compliance regimes,” he said.

In the China case revealed Wednesday, a 57-year-old man, Chenguang Gong, was charged with theft of trade secrets. Prosecutors accused Gong of stealing files last year from an unnamed technology company. The government's complaint does not say whether the technology (to identify missile launches and track hard-to-detect objects from space) was sent to China.

But Mr. Gong did not have the software to view the files he had taken from the company, prosecutors wrote in their complaint. Some of the documents were labeled proprietary and others were labeled export controlled.

Mr. Gong, who had worked for defense contractors and had experience developing computer circuits, had previously sought funding from the Chinese government and contacted officials through its various “talent programs.” Beijing uses the programs to identify people who can help develop its economy and military capabilities.

Iran's case was not directly related to the country's drone production, but to its aerospace industry.

Abolfazi Bazzazi, 79, and his son, Mohammad Resa Bazzazi, 43, were accused of creating an intricate scheme to avoid export laws to ship aerospace equipment to Iran and ship the technology to Europe to conceal its final destination. .


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