Austria allows aide to Ahmadinejad to launder money
Austria has a long history of doing this sort of thing. This time, they've allowed an aide to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to launder money on behalf of the mullahcracy
Writing in the British Daily Telegraph in late October,
foreign affairs correspondent Damien McElroy first reported on the Iranian
agent, who is a senior departmental director from Iran’s Center for Innovation
and Technology Cooperation. The US Treasury Department has sanctioned both the
agent and the Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation for illicit
nuclear proliferation activity.
According to the Telegraph report, “At
least two visits this year to Vienna by a senior departmental director have been
used to carry out transactions worth millions of euros, according to sources.
Western officials confirmed the official is a regular visitor to the Austrian
capital and has traveled for extended stays each year since 2007.”
agent’s network involves deliveries that are “handed to money lenders in
Austria, Germany and Italy. Payments from the network have been documented as
transfers to accounts as far as Russia and China to pay for goods that are
subsequently sent to Iran,” the Telegraph continued.
In a telephone
interview with the Post on Saturday, a spokesman for Austria’s Interior Ministry
said there is “no criminal investigation” in connection with the agent and the
center. Asked if the Austrian domestic intelligence agency probed the money
laundering operation and the center, he said, “The findings are not public.” The
Interior Minister spokesman referred to sections of the domestic intelligence
agency’s 2012 report about Iran’s activities in Austria.
According to the
2012 report, “In the period under review, concrete proliferation-relevant
activities were observed in connection with North Korea and Iran.” The report
noted, “It can be assumed that these developments will continue in 2012 and that
the conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran will intensify.”
slammed Austria’s laxity toward Iran sanctions. “This is not a new story for
Austria. Austria has been behaving like this for a while,” he said. It is
disturbing that the Austrian authorities remain indifferent because Austrian
banks are “down the road from the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he
The IAEA is the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog
Sanctions? What sanctions?
Labels: Austria, Iran sanctions regime