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Briton Extradited to US Over Alleged Iran Missile Parts

Businessman Christopher Tappin from Orpington, England, arrives for an extradition hearing for him at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, September 2, 2010.

A retired British businessman accused of plotting to ship missile parts to Iran says his extradition to the United States is "a disgrace."

Before Christopher Tappin left London Friday for an expected court appearance in El Paso, Texas, later in the day, he criticized the British government for not voiding an extradition agreement with the U.S.

"The conservative government washed in opposition promised to reform the law, and they've failed to do so, and they've let me down, they've let you down, they've let the whole country down," Tappin, 65 said.

He denies arranging the sale of batteries to Iran for surface-to-air missiles in 2006. He claims he was the target of a U.S. customs sting operation.

Tappin's extradition, which he has fought for two years, was made possible by a controversial U.S.-British agreement, allowing an extradition before the case is heard in a British court.

Tappin lost his latest appeal earlier this month. If he is tried, Tappin faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.