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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Iran native copied, transferred nuclear software while employed at largest U.S. reactor

WASHINGTON — Iran has gained access to U.S. nuclear power plants and detailed knowledge of their operations.   

Officials said an Iranian native who worked for the plant relayed nuclear software to Teheran.

On Dec. 16, 2008, a federal court in Arizona sentenced the man to 15 months following his conviction of the illegal transfer of software to Iran.

The 51-year-old engineer, identified as Mohammed Reza Alavi, had been convicted in May 2008 as part of a plea bargain.

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Alavi worked for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the largest nuclear power plant in the United States. He told federal agents that he stole software designed for training in nuclear power operations.

"We are pleased that both a jury and the judge recognized the serious nature of these crimes," U.S. Attorney Diane Humetewa said.

Officials said Alavi worked at Palo Verde until 2006. Before his departure, they said, Alavi downloaded the training software to his personal laptop. The software was then relayed to Iran.

"A prison sentence is entirely appropriate to punish this defendant for his stealing of sensitive materials, given the potential threat to the security of information relating to a nuclear power plant," Ms. Humetewa said.

Officials said Iran has increased efforts to acquire nuclear and military components from the United States. They said the Teheran regime has established front companies and employed Iranian and other nationals to infiltrate sensitive U.S. facilities and companies.

In December 2008, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ratified security measures meant to protect nuclear power facilities from cyber attack. This marked the first of such measures since the Al Qaida strikes in the United States in 2001.


Insha Allah (God willing), you steal our oil we steal your software why everyone so upset? The Profit Mohammed      11:17 p.m. / Saturday, April 4, 2009
Who was responsible to insure this did not happen? They and the Iranian spy should serve life in the same cell; or maybe no one at Dept of Energy can be held responsible? Why is negligence now the norm and who is in charge at the Palo Verde nuke plant; no one? SFC, Donnie Grant Cheesman      11:10 p.m. / Saturday, April 4, 2009
It's a strange world when a U.S. court treats the advance of nuclear arms in the hands of an avowed enemy like Iran with less concern than possession of marijuana. This Iranian engineer should have gotten nothing less than a life sentence of imprisonment. He is an active and dangerous enemy combatant. His actions could lead to the death of millions of Americans. David Batteau      12:45 p.m. / Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I would like to know what kind of security system was in place that this man was able to download software to his laptop?

Kimberly      12:43 p.m. / Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fifteen months is nothing compared to the years that Johnathan Pollard got and is still serving time in prison. I am wondering if this man was legal to live in the U.S?

Caroline      11:58 p.m. / Monday, March 30, 2009

This is a perfect example as to how affirmative action is killing America, and how liberalism is a mental disorder. The Iranians laugh: Hey lets send ours guys over there to get jobs in seeennsssitive areas of the U.S.; They have to hire our guys because of affirmative action!

Zero      9:58 p.m. / Monday, March 30, 2009

15 Months??? For a treasonous act..... This article does not say if this Iranian native is a U. S. citizen, but I guess not. If not, WHY was he working at a reactor plant? The DA was quoted as being happy---about what...

Cricket      9:57 p.m. / Monday, March 30, 2009

Our government is not at all serious about protecting us from threats. We are lost.

DRS      9:56 p.m. / Monday, March 30, 2009

What a joke. I cant believe tha comments of the DA. I guess his kids wont be the ones fighting these terrorist off anyway.

William      9:56 p.m. / Monday, March 30, 2009

When is this country going to wake up? GUEST WORKER PROGRAMS such as H-1B, L-1, etc. are the enabling factor in these kinds of thefts.

Bobo      9:54 p.m. / Monday, March 30, 2009

FIFTEEN MONTHS IS HIS SENTENCE!? Sorry, but that is absurd. This is all the more reason why terrorism and espionage crimes of this sort should NOT be dealt with in the usual U.S. court system. Sentencing this fellow to 15 months does NOTHING to make up for the lost data or to make us safer by preventing other crimes. In fact, it makes the U.S. criminal "justice" system the laughingstock of the espionage world. I would love to know what a Russian, Chinese, or Iranian court would do in a similar case.

MTew      11:06 p.m. / Thursday, March 26, 2009

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