A Los Angeles man was sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison on Monday for trying to buy submachine guns in the United States and sell them to an Iranian government faction.
In his plea agreement, 50-year-old Seyed Mostafa Maghloubi Maghloubi admitted that he tried to buy submachine guns and night-vision goggles and ship them to Iran in violation of U.S. laws.
According to the plea agreement, Maghloubi, an Iran-born naturalized U.S. citizen, sought to deliver the equipment to Iranian government officials aligned with a former president who is a political foe of the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"These were very dangerous actions," U.S. District Judge George King said during the sentencing of Maghloubi.
Maghloubi's "sophisticated" acts could have contributed to much loss of life, the judge said.
Had Maghloubi succeeded with his plan, another possible effect would be "actually destabilizing an area of the world that has suffered enough from continuing upheaval," King said.
Maghloubi, who opposes Iranian President Ahmadinejad, pleaded guilty last August to violating a federal law banning the export of items to Iran.
The United States imposed a trade embargo against Iran in 1979,when 52 American diplomats were taken hostage by militants supporting Iran's Islamic government.
King said Maghloubi's motivations -- while not anti-American --didn't amount to much of a mitigating factor. The judge said it was the job of the government -- not U.S. citizens -- to pursue foreign policy.