Sunday, April 11, 2010

Swedish Iranian Suspected of Having Illegally Contributed to Iran’s Nuclear Program

Recently Swedish newspapers revealed that a Swedish business man of Iranian origin is suspected of having received some 5 billion Swedish Kronor – about 690 million US dollars -- from Iran during the past two years, The Swedish security police (SÄPO) suspects that the man is guilty of illegal trade with Iran. What goods he has been trading with has not yet been revealed. Indications point toward equipment for Iran’s nuclear weapons and energy program. It is illegal to trade with Iran in such equipment.

That country is considered a high security threat to the state of Israel. Its president  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that Israel should be "wiped off the map" which emphasizes this. Iran has not yet managed to get full nuclear weapon capabilities, but continues, to develop these.  

The suspect is charged with accounting fraud in Sweden but claims he is innocent, declaring he “merely helped small Iranian businesses to buy and sell goods abroad.” They have then, according to the man, in turn been allowed to use his account to make transactions and paid him commissions for this.

Ardavan Khoshnood who is president of the organization “Democracy in Iran” (Demokrati i Iran) says that it is good that the Swedish security police opened an investigation against this Swedish-Iranian individual.  Khoshnood emphasizes that it is important to trace what these 5 billion Swedish Kronor may have funded: Iranian terrorist cells abroad, persons who spy for the Iranian regime or Iranian media “in exile” who really work for the Iranian regime?

Despite international bans against trade with Iran, especially prohibiting trade in equipment that can accelerate Iran’s nuclear program, the country still manages, as can be seen with this Swedish case, to launder money abroad. If governments like Sweden fail to prevent large-scale trade in nuclear equipment, one can only hope that if Iran does acquire nuclear weapons capability, the world and Israel will be able to deal with the consequences.

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