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Monday, November 05, 2012

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.”
The 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.”
Samuels 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 stressed.
The IAEA is the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog agency.
Sanctions? What sanctions?

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