It was likely the largest sanctions-evasion scheme in modern history, involving top state officials from both Ankara and Tehran. While the U.S. was attempting to use economic pressure in response to revelations regarding Tehran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab and banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla facilitated an illicit oil-for-gold scheme that enriched Iran to the tune of over $100 billion.
Foreign Podicy host Cliff May is joined by Jonathan Schanzer, Aykan Erdemir and Merve Tahiroglu, who were involved in FDD’s extensive role in the case, to unravel the story and discuss its many implications.
Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla was found guilty in a Manhattan courtroom for a range of financial crimes. His dramatic trial revealed that tens of billions in dollars and gold moved from Turkey to Iran through a complex network of businesses, banks, and front companies. The trial was a long time coming. In late October of 2016, Justice Department officials paid a visit to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Washington-based think tank where I serve as senior vice president. They wanted to talk about Reza Zarrab. Read in The Atlantic