Iran Wove a Complex Criminal Web & the World is Its Accessory



By Max Coutinho

Last week, Tehran announced that Iranian war ships will sail off to the Atlantic Ocean in March – to counter US activities in the Persian Gulf. On the surface it seems a legitimate response to the presence of USS John C Stennis, a US Navy aircraft carrier, in the Arabian Gulf; however, there is another angle that is intimately connected to the illicit activities carried out by Iranian proxies, and operatives, in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.  

Iranian War Ships in Venezuela

This deployment is a direct challenge to the US in more ways than one: 

Military

This is an obvious assessment. Iran is trying to arm-wrestle America in a David-Goliath style, however Tehran must have no illusions: it will never win that conflict. The US Military Might is undoubtedly far superior to that of Iran, so this deployment may be a case of throwing sand at our eyes. 

Terrorist

It isn’t a secret that Iran plagued the Caribbean and Latin America with Hezbollah elements (not to mention that it uses the ‘Palestinian’ network to insert Hamas and PLO operatives in the same region). What if this deployment serves to either inject the region with more operatives (to strengthen terror cells or conduct search operations in the region) or deliver means (cash, weapons, intel) to deepen their terrorist activities there? 

Terror-Political

The US stepped into the ‘Iranian’ neighbourhood and now Iran is invading America’s neighbourhood - all the while it sits right across its borders (ref: remember Qassem Suleimani’s threat to the US “Not a night goes by when we don't think about you in our sleep. Let me tell you, Mr. Trump, the gambler... Let me tell you... Know that we are near you, in places that don't come to your mind. We are near you in places that you can't even imagine. We are a nation of martyrdom. We are the nation of Imam Hussein. Ask around. We have endured many hardships,” July 26, 2018).  

Qassem Suleimani’s words were quite interesting: the fact that he called President Trump “the gambler” reveals fear of the President’s political acumen. POTUS’ ability to come out as unpredictable works to his advantage because Iran is not used to players whose steps they can't predict. Tehran has grown used to deal with static Europeans and obsolete US politicians who always think and act the same way – giving thus the Iranians the possibility of anticipating their every move. 

Correlation with Russia’s Case

Courtesy of Scott Morgan

Russia has also deployed stealth jets in Venezuela. The easiest way to analyse this is to infer that Russia is working with Iran to challenge the US on its doorsteps. However, based on what we have been observing in the field, in Europe, it could be surmised that Russia is actually trying to follow up on Iranian activities worldwide and perhaps use that information as leverage – to get what it wants – when the timing is right. 

Iran’s footprint in Money Laundering Cases

It is public information that Hezbollah rules in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Venezuela is the capital of Hezbollah’s activities and Angola is their financial nerve centre. This hybrid terrorist group owns Banks, Money Transfer Agencies, Hotels, Shops, Sports Organisations through which they do their money laundering and circumvent sanctions; and it conducts illicit businesses like Drug, Human and Weapon Trafficking; Diamond and Timber Smuggling (in Africa); Extortion, Cyber-Crimes, and Recruitment – through Da’wah-like efforts. 

We recently learned that most Lebanese entering Angola and Mozambique, for example, are males who have received military training and who go to Africa with instructions to father children with the natives, who will later on be sent to study all over the world (though the main destinations have thus far been the US and Brazil). If these men are supposedly businessmen in Africa, why do they need military training for? 

There’s yet another detail: within that group called the “Lebanese” many are actually Iranian and ‘Palestinian’ – and if you look at the “Lebanese” presence in places like Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago (TT) etc you will be able to identify the same pattern (though in TT it is openly known that Hezbollah, Hamas and Iranians carry out illegal acts like flying in millions of dollars, in cash, in private planes). 

Addressing a Difficult Question: Western Associates

This is not a new topic, however, very little is done to associate Westerners to the Iranian terrorist activities. Lately, the authorities, and some Media, have begun associating Africans to Hezbollah/Iranian activities but they always sweep under the carpet any Western participation in these crimes. For instance, the Espirito Santo Bank's President (Ricardo Salgado) was investigated and incarcerated for corruption and money laundering charges in his connections to the Angolan 'elites' – however, no one went deeper into the question to associate his name, and work, to Terrorism Funding. Even if the District Attorney didn’t have direct evidence of his involvement there is enough proof to open a Prima Facie Case against Mr Salgado. 

The same happened in Malta. There was a Corruption case involving the Prime Minister’s inner circle that resulted in the assassination of an investigate reporter (Daphne Caruana Galizia) last year – even though the funds were channelled through the now defunct Pilatus Banks, owned by Seyed Ali Sadr Hashemineyad who is also allegedly tied to Coreon Dú (José Eduardo Paulino dos Santos, the son of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos), we haven’t seen the name of any Westerner indicated as an accomplice of the crimes of money laundering, suspicion of Terror Financing etc. 

NB: Hashemineyad was arrested, last year, in America for suspicions of money laundering and for having helped Iran circumventing the sanctions imposed by the US. The daughter of the Founder of Huawei is also suspected of having assisted Iran with the same. 

But which westerners helped these people? Where is the list of their names and why aren’t they ever mentioned (or if they are it is always in connection with other cases)? Aiding and abetting terrorism is a serious Crime, one that also falls in the category of Co-Authorship of the crime, and therefore it’s time to go after everybody who aids and abets terror in any form and shape. Banks and Financial Companies are a good starting point. 

When there are too many questions and not enough answers or solutions, it usually means one thing: no political will. And if there’s no political will, then we have to surmise most of the political class is in it. What are their names?

The web woven by Iran is extremely intricate and we will be back to this topic throughout the year to understand how the biggest threat to Mankind can be countered, and how their accomplices can be best caught without completely crashing the whole system. Stay tuned!

(Image: Iranian Vessel[Ed] - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2019 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]

Comments

  1. Eventually we'll have to deal with Iran, it's only a matter of when! I'm not sure Russia is not colluding with Iran to attack the US but it'd be cool if Putin was stepping out of the cold war mentality!

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  2. This is a complex post with a lot of information. I need to digest it well before leaving a comment.

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  3. When did Angola get in the mix with Iranians? Was it when Hezbollah left DRC?

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  4. Portugal has the responsibility to deal with Angola but it doesn't. Instead it bows down to it and turns a blind to the activities of people with Angolan passport. Portugal should also be investigated.

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  5. There's no political will cause most politicians are in the coup! They are all part of the scheme somehow, directly or indirectly! And we elect these criminals and we applaude when they leave power and get even greater jobs with a greater paycheck! Shame on us! So we are all accomplices of Iran, all of us! How to stop doing it? Ahah, that's the question!

    ReplyDelete

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