Washington: An Iranian whose release
reportedly had been sought by Iran`s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is undergoing deportation proceedings after serving a five year prison sentence for arms smuggling, a US
official has said.
Amir Hossein Ardebili, who was arrested in October 2007
in the Republic of Georgia and extradited to the United States
in 2008, was released in February.
He was then turned over to the custody of US Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for removal, according to a US
official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Ardebili was released from prison for deportation from
the United States because he had completed serving his
criminal sentence and has no legal immigration status in this
country," the official said yesterday.
His charges originally came from a three-year
international undercover investigation that "exposed
Adrebili`s role as a prolific arms acquisitions agent for the
government of Iran," according to a court document.
"During this investigation, Ardebili negotiated the
purchase and illegal export of a number of military
components," it said.
Ardebili was sentenced in 2009 to five years in US
prison, taking into account the two years already he had
served in custody.
Ahmadinejad earlier asked Washington to release eight
Iranian nationals who he said were "illegally detained in the
United States," among them was Ardebili, according to Iranian
The United States has rejected prisoner exchanges between
the two countries, amid high tension over Tehran`s suspect
In September, two American hikers were released by Iran,
a year after a third member of that group were freed in Tehran
after receiving long sentences.