US Attorneys seek to seize Iran-linked mosques and real-estate

US Attorneys are seeking to seize mosques and real estate assets owned by a non-profit Muslim group with alleged ties to the Iranian regime. The assets are owned by the Alavi Foundation and an alleged front-company, the Assa Corporation.

US Attorney Preet Bharara stated that the Foundation's affairs have been directed by Iranian officials, including Ambassadors to the United Nations from that nation in ways that violate a series of American laws. The seizure of assets appears to be related to a federal court decision this Tuesday that the president of the foundation must stand trial for allegedly destroying documents ties to a grand jury investigation of the charity's dealings with Bank Melli Iran and other "purported shell companies."

Bharara says that the Alavi Foundation has "effectively been a front for the government of Iran"

Bank Melli Iran has been a bank the regime has used to do an end-run around American sanctions designed to dissuade its support for terrorism and its nuclear program. A brief synopsis:

On 25 October 2007, the United States imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran. These sanctions include new measures to reduce Iran's ability to conduct financial transactions between the state-owned banks of Iran and United States citizens or private organisations.[8] Bank Melli was included in these sanctions, on the grounds that, besides its other customers, Bank Melli provides financial services to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.[8] A fact sheet released by the US Treasury Department also asserts that between 2002 and 2006 Bank Melli sent at least $100 million to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other groups, via the Quds Force, a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.[7]

The bank has been subject to these sanctions for years and has tried various ploys to evade them. These apparently include using charities and front groups operating in America.

Update:  

Lest we forget, one of the least noticed aspects of Barack Obama's paean to the Muslim world delivered in Cairo was his promise to Muslims to east the scrutiny of their charities.
"Rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat," said Obama, referring to the Muslim obligation to be charitable.

Read more:
While not directly related, chances are that some American Muslims comingled their funds with Iranian money, or had their money controlled by the charities whose links to the Iranian regime were the focus of US Attorney's actions today to seize the assets held by the charities.

US Attorneys are seeking to seize mosques and real estate assets owned by a non-profit Muslim group with alleged ties to the Iranian regime. The assets are owned by the Alavi Foundation and an alleged front-company, the Assa Corporation.

US Attorney Preet Bharara stated that the Foundation's affairs have been directed by Iranian officials, including Ambassadors to the United Nations from that nation in ways that violate a series of American laws. The seizure of assets appears to be related to a federal court decision this Tuesday that the president of the foundation must stand trial for allegedly destroying documents ties to a grand jury investigation of the charity's dealings with Bank Melli Iran and other "purported shell companies."

Bharara says that the Alavi Foundation has "effectively been a front for the government of Iran"

Bank Melli Iran has been a bank the regime has used to do an end-run around American sanctions designed to dissuade its support for terrorism and its nuclear program. A brief synopsis:

On 25 October 2007, the United States imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran. These sanctions include new measures to reduce Iran's ability to conduct financial transactions between the state-owned banks of Iran and United States citizens or private organisations.[8] Bank Melli was included in these sanctions, on the grounds that, besides its other customers, Bank Melli provides financial services to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.[8] A fact sheet released by the US Treasury Department also asserts that between 2002 and 2006 Bank Melli sent at least $100 million to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other groups, via the Quds Force, a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.[7]

The bank has been subject to these sanctions for years and has tried various ploys to evade them. These apparently include using charities and front groups operating in America.

Update:  

Lest we forget, one of the least noticed aspects of Barack Obama's paean to the Muslim world delivered in Cairo was his promise to Muslims to east the scrutiny of their charities.
"Rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat," said Obama, referring to the Muslim obligation to be charitable.

Read more:
While not directly related, chances are that some American Muslims comingled their funds with Iranian money, or had their money controlled by the charities whose links to the Iranian regime were the focus of US Attorney's actions today to seize the assets held by the charities.