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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Really dumb: Israelis still financing Iran's nuclear program via Turkey

Nearly two years ago, I reported that Israelis were financing Iran's nuclear program by injecting money into the Iranian economy via the purchase of Iranian marble. With all the urgency our government attaches to stopping Iran, you would have thought that it would have found a way to stop its citizenry from purchasing the Iranian stone, or at least that our loyal citizens would have found it within themselves to stop financing the Iranian economy. You'd be wrong. We're still financing Iran through our purchases of marble.Via Turkey.
Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" reports that, despite tightening economic sanctions against Iran, Israeli marble imports from Iran are injecting millions of dollars a year into the struggling Iranian economy.

Iranian marble is very popular in Israel, and the Israeli-Iranian marble trade is booming, with imports coming via Turkey. Iran sends marble blocks fropm its quarries to factories in Turkey from where it is imported to Israel. The legality of the trade is murky, since it is not clear whether trade with a third party is completely illegal. The Israel Tax Authority says that it has no customs data on trade with Iran.
We ought not to be putting money in the Turks' pockets either. Really, really dumb. 

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