Cutting Off Arms To the Ayatullah

A smuggling ring is smashed

Though the U.S. has banned arms sales to Iran since the outbreak of the hostage crisis in 1979, Washington has long suspected that American weapons are still finding their way to Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini's Shi'ite armies. Last week the Justice Department unveiled a web of smuggling plots that would have netted Iran $2.5 billion worth of U.S. equipment. Federal authorities filed conspiracy charges against 17 people, including a London-based American lawyer and a retired Israeli general. It was the biggest arms bust that the feds had ever staged.

Prosecutors said the undone deals involve a veritable supermarket of weaponry: 18 F-4...

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