According to a filing by U.S prosecutors on Friday former consultant to the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, Ahmad Shiekhzadeh, recruited a United States-based atomic scientist to meet Iranian officials about Tehran's nuclear program.
Sheikhzadeh pleaded guilty to tax fraud and conspiracy to violate sanctions against Iran in November. The purpose of the filing was to request a tough sentence for him.
The filing goes into details on how since 2005 Sheikhzadeh helped arrange several meetings between scientists and then chief negotiator Hassan Rouhani and Javad Zarif who was Iran’s permanent representative to the UN at the time.
Sheikhzadeh's lawyer, Steve Zissou, said on Friday “The only goal Dr. Sheikhzadeh has ever had was to improve relations between the two countries so that they could both live in peace."
The prosecutors did not disclose the name of the scientist who allegedly met Iranian officials but noted that he was an Iranian national who previously worked at a nuclear power plant in the United States.
Iran has not yet reacted to charges against Ahmad Sheikhzadeh.