United States v. Amirnazmi, No. 10-1198 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The defendant, a dual-citizen of the U.S. and Iran and a chemical engineer, marketed a dynamic software program to Iranian actors and agreed to provide Iranian entities with technology for construction of chemical plants, with a goal of converting Iran into a chemical powerhouse. His efforts included contacting President Ahmadinejad to unveil his plan to help Iran, with respect to the United States' "cruel and tyrannical" treatment of the Iranian people. He was convicted on 10 charges—four counts stemming from violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), three counts of making false statements, and three counts of bank fraud and sentenced to a four years imprisonment. The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting a challenge to the constitutionality of the IEEPA and Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations. The law meaningfully constrains the President's discretion and does not violate the separation of powers doctrine. The government proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant's operation does not fall within the informational-materials exemption of the Act. The regulations are not unconstitutionally vague.