[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Court supports US extradition bid
Nosratollah Tajik
The US accuses Mr Tajik of trying to supply night-vision weapons
A former Iranian diplomat accused by the US of arms smuggling, should be extradited to America to face trial, a court has ruled.

Two US agents claim to have secretly filmed Nosratollah Tajik, 53, of Coxhoe, County Durham, discussing a deal to equip Iran with military goods.

His lawyers claim the agents acted illegally by entrapping him on UK soil.

But at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday the judge said there was no reason to block the extradition.

The former Iranian Ambassador to Jordan is alleged to have been the UK link in an 1.5m illegal arms network spanning the US, the Netherlands and Turkey.

'Prosecution appropriate'

Mr Tajik, who lives in Coxhoe with his wife and two sons, is accused of trying to supply night-vision weapons sights to Iran, which is under an arms embargo.

His legal team claims the Americans acted illegally by entrapping a man on UK soil when they secretly filmed him in November 2006.

They also said he should not be prosecuted in the US for crimes alleged to have occurred in the UK, and that America was pursuing him on the basis of his religion, nationality and politics.

But District Judge Caroline Tubbs ruled it was appropriate for Mr Tajik to face prosecution in the US as the "intended effect of the alleged actions was to bring about harm within the US" by exporting equipment from America directly or indirectly to Iran.

She also said that there was no evidence of an abuse of process in the actions of the US agents, or that Mr Tajik's prosecution was politically motivated.

Mr Tajik, who was appointed an honorary fellow at Durham University briefly during 2004, was released on bail and informed he had the right to appeal against the ruling.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific