« Graph of the Day for September 23, 2009 |
Blog Home Page
| Sen Byrd hospitalized »
September 23, 2009
Ahmadinejad hand picked his sanctions buster on NY trip
This piece by Claudia Rosett at Fox News is an eye opener. Apparently, information has emerged from the trial of an Iranian-American businessman charged with breaking US laws against trading with Iran that shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally involved himself in a criminal conspiracy to violate the sanctions regime:
The details come from evidence introduced in a federal trial in Philadelphia earlier this year of a 65-year-old Iranian-American businessman named Ali Amirnazmi. Press accounts at the time somehow missed Ahmadinejad's role in the case, perhaps because he was mentioned in the indictment only as "Iranian Official #1." But court documents show a web of sanctions-busting intrigue, involving not only Ahmadinejad, but also including communications running through the Iranian mission to the U.N. in New York City, as well as Iran's de facto consular service in the U.S. - the Iranian Interests Section housed at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C.
Out of these interactions grew a sanctions-violating plan to transfer to Iran, from the U.S., advanced technology and expertise in the chemical manufacturing industry.
Ahmadinejad himself has not been charged with any crime. As a visiting head of state, he enjoys diplomatic immunity - which he abused with impunity.
The fellow on the other side of the deal, Ali Amirnazmi, was not so lucky. Amirnazmi was found guilty in February on three counts of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, and one count of conspiracy to violate them. At the same trial, he was also convicted of bank fraud and making false statements to federal officials. Amirnazmi is now in federal custody, awaiting sentencing.
From testimony, letters and other evidence introduced in court, it's possible to sketch a picture of how Ahmadinejad encouraged and agreed to lend a hand to Amirnazmi's sanctions-busting.
Rosett then goes on to tie Ahmadinejad to the conspiracy while also showing how the Iranian president abused his diplomatic privileges while in America.
Read the whole thing.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky