Press TV – Iran has denounced as politically-motivated a French court’s verdict to extradite an Iranian engineer to the United States over accusations of importing American technology for military purposes.
The condemnation came on Saturday after the court in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, approved the extradition of Jalal Rouhollahnejad to the US to face charges of “attempting to illegally import US technology for military purposes on behalf of an Iranian company.”
The Iranian non-governmental Center for Civilian Drones along with a number of knowledge-based firms working in the field of aerospace said in a joint statement that the French court’s verdict was politically-motivated and against the principles of the Iran nuclear deal as well as other international rules.
Rouhollahnejad was detained on February 2 at Nice airport as he got off a plane coming from Tehran. The US judicial officials claimed that the Iranian engineer might have been seeking to import high-power industrial microwave systems from the US to be later used for military purposes in Iran.
The Iranian aerospace firms said in the statement that high-power industrial microwave systems are modern non-military technologies used for detecting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) flying in sensitive sites like airports.
“So the technologies have no military use. They are also not under the US sanctions,” the statement said, adding that it is among the basic rights of any country to use such technologies within the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to protect its airspace and provide security for sensitive sites like civilian airports.
“Such a move will have serious repercussions for the French tradesmen and specialists working in Iran,” the statement warned.
Rouhollahnejad’s lawyer also said the US arrest warrantw as politically-motivated and stressed that he would continue to refuse extradition from France.
US judges claim that the 41-year-old engineer acted on behalf of a company linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which was blacklisted by the US President Donald Trump’s administration last month.
A decree by the French prime minister is still necessary for the extradition to go ahead.