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Man Accused Of Trying To Buy Missile Batteries For Iran January 31, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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SAN ANTONIO (AP)–A man has been accused of trying to buy batteries that power Hawk surface-to-air missile systems for export to Iran, U.S. immigration officials said.

Robert Caldwell, 56, who owns an export brokerage company, was a middleman in a scheme to smuggle Hawk missile parts to Iran, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents alleged in an affidavit.

He is charged with conspiring to export without a license items regulated by U.S. State Department arms regulations, the San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday, citing court documents.

Caldwell told agents he was led to believe the batteries had other applications and were for a navigational system.

“Caldwell told (special agents) that he knew it was illegal to do this, but did not know the consequences,” the affidavit said.

His lawyer, Van Hilley, said Caldwell had never been arrested and that he would seek to have Caldwell released from jail.

Last year’s arrest of another man who tried to buy batteries for export to Iran led authorities to Caldwell, the affidavit said.

The Hawk missile system was developed in the 1950s for U.S. forces and has largely been replaced by newer, more advanced systems, according to the U.S. Army’s Web site. Other countries also bought the systems from manufacturers.

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