July 29, 2015 | Quote

U.S. to Lift Sanctions on Khamenei’s Financial Empire

The Obama administration is gearing up to lift economic sanctions on a nearly $100 billion network of organizations belonging to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to the parameters of the recent Iranian nuclear deal.

On the day the nuclear deal is implemented, the United States will lift sanctions on Khamenei’s financial empire, which comprises a large network of foundations and companies that personally enrich the Islamic Republic’s leader.

The removal of these sanctions will likely “pump tens of billions of dollars into the supreme leader’s personal coffers, helping him secure his grip on the Iranian people, and bolstering Iran’s ability to promote its agenda abroad,” according to a recent analysis from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Emanuele Ottolenghi and Saeed Ghasseminejad, warned that the removal of these sanctions will empower Iran to continue its expansion in the region.

“As long as the supreme leader uses shadowy, off-the-book financial assets to exert political influence, the risk that EIKO poses to the international financial system will remain undiminished,” they wrote.

While U.S. citizens will continue to be prohibited from engaging in business with these companies, foreigners will be given free rein.

“This is fortuitous [sic] for EIKO,” according to Ottolenghi and Ghasseminejad. “It has assets in Europe, including a German factory with advanced dual-use machinery that Iran needs for the indigenous production of centrifuges.”

“The lifting of U.S. sanctions against EIKO and its subsidiaries further means that the supreme leader’s foundations may invest in European securities, among others, and benefit from normal commercial relations with foreign companies wishing to invest in Iran from around the world,” according to the analysis.


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