Global Metallurgy chief conspired to export restricted metals to Iran

The American chief executive of New York-based Global Metallurgy has admitted conspiring to export speciality metals to Iran. Erdal Kuyumcu, a US citizen of Turkish descent, admitted on 14 June that he tried to illegally export a metallic powder composed of cobalt and nickel from the US to Iran. Kuyumcu faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million (£700,000) fine.

Because the metallic powder has potential aerospace, missile production and nuclear applications, exporting it without a licence from the US treasury department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is illegal. Kuyumcu failed to acquire such a licence. He is accused of trying to obtain over 450kg of the material, and arranging to first ship it to Turkey, and then on to Iran through an intermediary.