Emails between Darius and Ardebili - Part 1


The following are excerpts of emails and Yahoo instant messages between Amir Ardebili, an Iranian arms broker, and “Darius,” the name an undercover U.S. Homeland Security agent used during Operation Shakespeare, a sting designed to lure the broker outside Iran.
The emails, obtained by the Inquirer, were written in English and are unedited. Darius was posing an Eastern European arms broker whose native language is Russian, and therefore, as part of his disguise, intentionally wrote in broken English.
October 2006
Darius: I would need to meet face-to-face early in the process. To show my good faith, I will introduce you to my buyer in the Republic of Georgia., who will want to meet you and suppliers anyway. What do you think?...
Amir: Please provide us your friend name and contact in Saudi Arabia… We are always interest for such kind of business but it seem we are loss our time with some paperwork without any feedback because no reply from you after our request to contact to follow up!!!!!!... It is strange for me. However I mentioned that we are company with a lot of inquiries in electronics and military systems. Could you ask your friends to supply our needs? I need your contact in Republic of Georgia to ask him to quote us for urgent needs in Gyro. Will you provide?”
November 2006
Following a telephone call between Amir and Darius.
Darius: As I understand from our conversation, you have business where you buy military items and sell to Iran Ministry of Defense. You would like me to be part of your team, in that US seller of military or hi-technology would send item to me in Europe and then I would send item to you in either Dubai or Iran. Or maybe you want me to ship direct to Iran Ministry of Defense. In any case, as you said on phone, this is risky business because US requires export license and it is against US law to send such goods to Iran. I agree! We must discuss all detail and make sure no mistakes are made by us.
February 2007:
Amir: As you know purchase the military products for Iran is too risky work. Your (cousin) should have experience in this matter, otherwise we don’t like to take in problems. We try to meet you in Iran to understand the situation in Iran.
Darius: … I explain you why I am not coming to Iran. I had associate here in Europe who went to Near East Islam country to make business and he never came back. If he is in jail or someone is his head cutting off I do not know, but I do not want to be the next story that people are telling…
Amir: I am interest in open new good market in Islamic Near East. You could be my window to such business. I would be happy to be your co-operator and have friendly business for long time. I have 10 years experience working in Iranian defense organization and the left the public job and now doing business with them in private company…. I invite you to be patient.
 Darius: … There will be no making of gyros until some downpayment is receive by my cousin. We can discuss amount of this payment if your customer is choose the gyros:
{gryo quantities and parts prices listed from $2,965 to $347,5000.}
I understand that sometimes we must be patient, but I ask you if your customer is serious wanting to buy. I am agreeing to bargains to begin relationship. Surely if your customer is real, he can recognize that my side is being ready for deal and no games.
May 2007
The Iranian, having agreed to a deal to buy radar microchips, explains that he is having trouble convincing his customer – the Iranian military – to go through with the deal because Darius is unknown.
Amir: We could not do payment. We can just open letter of credit.
Darius: We are dealing here with a matter of principle. First, you told me earlier you would be able to make advance payment. Is this how you do business? Agree to do something and then reverse your word? Where will there be trust?... This is international black market for arms! Your side cannot find $10,000? Are you an arms dealer or not?
Amir: I know that we agree to pay US$10,000… but please understand this is huge payment to unknown customer and I could not convince my co-operator in this matter.
Darius: Wishing something does not make it true. You have reverse your word. In this business, a man’s word must be worth one million dollars…
Amir: I am serious customer. Why you do not want to believe? I want to open new business for sonars, night vision, distance finders, radars, C-130, aviation spare parts, underwater devices…. Paying US$10,000 is not huge risk for us but we will be in bad position if we pay but get no part in hand.


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