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Lawyers disagree on Iran satellite case sentence

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JESSICA GRESKO | December 18, 2013 10:45 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — An attorney for a Maryland man convicted of illegally helping Iran launch its first satellite says his client should spend no more than 27 months in prison, not the approximately 16 to 20 years the government is recommending.

An attorney for Nader Modanlo made the recommendation in a letter Tuesday to the judge overseeing the case. He called the government's recommendation "truly shocking." Modanlo was convicted by a jury earlier this year and is set to be sentenced Friday in a federal court in Maryland.

Attorney James McGuire argued against a harsh sentence for Modanlo, in particular because the satellite prosecutors accused Modanlo of helping to launch was non-military. McGuire wrote that defendants convicted of "far more egregious" acts of aiding Iran have been given sentences of a few years.