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Taiwanese man accused of violating Iran embargo

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kevin Chen was arrested Wednesday in Guam
  • Justice Department says Chen, 40, agreed to be transferred to Florida
  • Chen is accused of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act
RELATED TOPICS
  • Iran
  • Nuclear Proliferation
  • Guam

(CNN) -- A Taiwanese man accused of exporting missile components from the United States to Iran made his first court appearance Thursday, the Department of Justice announced.

Yi-Lan Chen, also known as Kevin Chen, was arrested Wednesday in Guam, according to a Justice Department news release. Chen, 40, appeared in court Thursday and agreed to be transferred to Florida, the release said.

According to the release, Chen allegedly helped Iranian companies linked to Iran's missile program purchase missile components from U.S. companies. Those components then were sent to Iran by way of Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The components included P200 turbine engines and spare parts that can be used to operate unmanned aerial vehicles and military target drones; a sealing compound that has military specifications and is used in the military and aerospace industries; and other parts used in weapons systems, the release said.

The components have both military and civilian uses, according to the release. Chen is accused of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the U.S. embargo against exporting most goods, technology or services to Iran, it said.

"The dual use items allegedly exported in this case could easily be used in missile development and other military components," U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman said in the news release. "Such conduct poses a serious threat to our national security, and will not be tolerated."

If convicted, Chen would face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison and possible fines of up to $1 million, the release said.