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Iranian Airline, Under Sanctions, Bought U.S. Jet Parts Through Front Firms

Emanuele Ottolenghi
19th February 2018 - Quoted by Ian Talley - The Wall Street Journal

An Iranian airline under sanctions by the U.S. for ferrying weapons and fighters into Syria repeatedly bought U.S.-made jet engines and parts through Turkish front companies over the past several years, most recently in December, federal investigators said in a new U.S. government filing.

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Emanuele Ottolenghi, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which has long criticized the nuclear deal, says U.S. intelligence cited in the Iran sanctions and other publicly available research show there’s a likelihood that planes or parts approved under a new Iran-related license would be used in violation of U.S. law.

He also points to an increase in commercial flights from Iran into Syria since the summer of 2015, when Tehran and Russia coordinated their efforts to boost support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid the country’s civil war, he said. His suspicion is that “These airlines are not ferrying civilian passengers between Tehran and Damascus,” he said.

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