Nader Modanlo on trial for allegedly helping Iran launch satellite

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A trial has begun for an Iranian-American man living in Maryland who allegedly helped Iran launch a satellite from Russia, a violation of a trade embargo the United States has against the Middle Eastern country.

Nader Modanlo's trial began Tuesday in federal court in Greenbelt.

Prosecutors say Modanlo brokered an agreement between the Russian government and Iran that resulted in the 2005 launch from Russia of an Iranian satellite, the country's first.

But a defense attorney for Modanlo said in opening statements that the allegations are baseless and have been a nightmare for a man who came to the United States to study and stayed to pursue the American dream.

Modanlo's trial is expected to last several weeks. He faces a possibility of decades in prison.