Three indicted Iranians in Houston part of deal to release 5 Americans held by Iran

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HOUSTON – If you were doing something over the weekend, you may have missed the implementation of the big nuclear deal between the United States and Iran.

The deal is controversial because it lifts sanctions against Iran in exchange for checks on the country’s nuclear program, and because the Obama Administration swapped five Americans, three from Houston, held by the Iranians for seven Iranians detained in the US.

The three Iranians in Houston are associated with Smart Power Systems, the sister company of Iran’s Faratel Corporation.

Bahram Mechanic, 69, and Khosrow Afghahi, 72, are co-owners of Faratel and Smart Power Systems. Tooraj Faridi, 46, is a Smart Power Systems vice president.

The FBI says Iran’s military and atomic energy organization are Faratal and Smart Power System customers.

The government charged them with illegally exporting millions of dollars in American technology to Iran.

Members of the media staked out smart powers system just in case one of the three turned up, but Neal Davis III, the company’s criminal defense lawyer, was the only one to show.

“We’ve got one step further that we need to go. I mean, Mr. Mechanic has been pardoned. Mr. Faridi has. Mr. Afghahi. Now we just need the company to be dismissed.”

The families of the freed Americans probably feel the pardoning of the Iranians is price worth paying for release of their loved ones.