Sentence for Alleged Iranian Spy in U.S. Renews Cries to Free Jonathan Pollard

Mozaffar Khazaee Gets 10-Year Maximum Prison Sentence


By JTA

Published January 15, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A 10-year maximum prison sentence given to an Iranian engineer accused of spying on the United States spurred a new call in Israel for the release of Jonathan Pollard.

Mozaffar Khazaee, 59, a dual Iran-U.S. citizen, was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey last week for attempting to smuggle to Iran blueprints for the F-35 joint strike fighter. He was planning to fly to Tehran through Germany. The F-35, which will be the U.S. Defense Department’s most advanced fighter jet, is set to bolster the air fleets of the United States and Israel, as well as several other countries.

Khazaee, who became a U.S. citizen in 1991, worked as an engineer at the Connecticut-based defense contractor Pratt & Whitney. He has visited Iran five times in the past seven years, according to reports.

He attempted to ship to Tehran boxes containing the blueprints and other material on the F-35. The boxes, which had been labeled books and college items, were opened and its contraband discovered in November by U.S. Customs officials.

On Tuesday, Nahman Shai of Israel’s Labor Party said the sentence for Khazaee raises the question of why Pollard was given a life sentence and still has not received clemency. Pollard, a civilian U.S. Navy analyst when he was arrested for spying for Israel, has spent nearly three decades in prison.

“Pollard has served more than 28 years for spying for an ally. Spying for Iran is much worse,” said Shai, who heads the Knesset’s Pollard lobby, according to a Jerusalem Post report on Wednesday.

In an Op-Ed in the New York Times published Tuesday, M.E. Bowman, the liaison officer for the Department of Defense to the Department of Justice at the time of Pollard’s trial and sentencing, wrote that “there are no other Americans who have given over to an ally information of the quantity and quality that Mr. Pollard has.”

He added that Pollard pleaded guilty to a more serious offense under a different statue that deals with the disclosure of information that might result in the death of a U.S. agent or that “directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack; war plans; communications intelligence or cryptographic information.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.