Investigate Obama’s and Kerry’s Unlawful Deals with Iran
By Rachel Ehrenfeld @American Thinker
Saturday, January 27th, 2018 @ 9:04AM
Two years ago, as then-secretary of State John Kerry was boasting in Davos about Obama’s deal with Iran, he acknowledged that some of the $150 billion given to the mullahs in Tehran “will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.” He was right. We don’t know how much money went to fund Iran’s global terrorist activities. And we know even less about the billions in untraceable cash that was supposedly delivered to the mullahs or the recipients of that cash. How about investigating that? There should be ample evidence to prove Kerry and his boss President Obama have willfully engaged in terrorist financing and money laundering. That is unless the pertinent emails and documents related to the payments to Iran had been lost or destroyed.
After the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented on January 16, 2016, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who wished to lift all sanctions on Iran, kept complaining that “On paper the United States allows foreign banks to deal with Iran, but in practice they create Iranophobia so no one does business with Iran.” As much as the Obama administration wanted to comply, it needed congressional support to do that. Thus, the Obama administration decided to circumvent U.S. anti-money laundering laws to help Iran’s economy.
Between March 2012 and January 2016, when the U.S. lifted the sanctions, Iranian banks had no access to the Belgium-based SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system. During that time, according to a European oil trader, “Nobody could pay the Iranians via normal lines, not even in euros.” Yet, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief as incentives to attend negotiations with the United States and others in Geneva. In August 2012, following a major earthquake in Iran, the Obama administration issued a 45-day general license allowing “registered NGOs to send up to $300,000 to for humanitarian relief and reconstruction activities. And what assurances were there to ensure the money got to the right hands? At that time, Treasury’s spokesman John Sullivan declared, “The license specifically forbids any dealings with entities on the OFAC SDN list such as the IRGC. There is also a mandated report to the Treasury and State Departments, so we can make sure the money does not end up in the wrong hands,” he said. However, he was not asked, and he did not give any information on how the cash was transferred to Iran.
In early 2013, the Obama administration began transferring goods to and from Afghanistan through the Iranian Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas, instead of shipping the goods through Pakistan. The administration decided to ignore the sanctions and chose the Iranian port. U.S. payments enabled the Iranians to open another port on the Gulf of Oman at Chabahar to further facilitate transshipment through Iran. How were payments made? In cash? In what currencies? If not, how did Iran access the U.S. payments? Were those payments sent in secrecy bundled cash of non-U.S. currencies on chartered flights, under cover of darkness as the administration did on January 17, 2016, with the $400 million in ransom it paid the mullahs to release American hostages?
At the same time that the Obama administration was denying the cash ransom delivery to Iran, it also claimed: “The reason that we had to give the cash is precisely because we were so strict in maintaining sanctions, and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran that we couldn’t send them a check and we could not wire the money, due to the “effectiveness of U.S. and international sanctions.” The U.S. has strict federal Anti-Money Laundering laws, requiring “banks and certain other financial institutions, which tend to have extra-territorial effect, through requirements for U.S. banks to control their relationships with correspondent and shell banks to prevent money laundering.”
Therefore, the Obama administration instructed Treasury to find “the mechanism” through which untraceable cash could be delivered to the Iranian terrorist regime. They have willfully circumvented the U.S. and international sanctions, as well as the anti-money laundering laws, to deliver, at least, an additional $1.3 billion “settlement” to Iran through offshore clearinghouses.Was this a new arrangement or the first the public heard about such an arrangement?
What we already know is enough to cause major concerns. But will we ever find out how much money was given to the mullahs? Probably not.
*This commentary was first published in American Thinker, January 27, 2018
Rachel Ehrenfeld @American Thinker
Categories: 2016, ACD/EWI Blog, Ayatollah Khamenie, Hezbollah, Hizballah, Iran deal, Iran Deal cash, Iran mullahs, Iran Nuclear agreement, Iran sanctions, Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Qods Force, IRGC-QF, JCPOA, Kerry John, Obama Administration, Obama Iran Deal, ransom, Zarif