Part 1 &/or Part 2 of this post described recent efforts by the judgment creditors in Havlish v. bin Laden to collect on their judgment against Iran for more than $1.3 billion dollars. The judgment creditors sought to attach monies allegedly connected to a deal to purchase Airbus aircraft for Iran’s Mahan Air. The judgment creditors also issued subpoenas to U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The subpoenas were about assets related to Iran and various terrorist groups.
How else might the judgment creditors proceed with their asset search & collect on their judgment against Iran? Although the April 2nd preliminary nuclear accord with Iran lifts many economic sanctions against it, Iran had tried to skirt the sanctions throughout the years. By recognizing ways Iran may have skirted the sanctions, the judgment creditors might detect money trails. The judgment creditors would hopefully then be able to follow the money trails by using letters rogatory and other asset recovery tools. This in turn could bring the judgment creditors closer to collecting on their billion-dollar-plus judgment against Iran.
Discreet Income From The World’s Largest Natural Gas Field?
Qatar sits on the largest natural gas field in the world but it also goes under Iran. This is the South Pars/North Dome natural gas field. Wikipedia says “[a]ccording to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the field holds an estimated 1,800 trillion cubic feet (51 trillion cubic metres) of in-situ natural gas and some 50 billion barrels (7.9 billion cubic metres) of natural gas condensates.” Iran reportedly allowed Qatar to develop its gas extraction and marketing but only with Iran’s permission. Furthermore, nobody checks what Qatar does with its income.
It is therefore possible that Iran circumvented economic sanctions via a quiet and discreet shared income from Qatar. As discussed last week at a Reuters article, Iran announced it will soon open up 2 additional gas operations in the South Pars Field. The Tasnim News Agency reported that the 2 new gas operations, (i.e. refineries), should bring Iran $6 billion in annual revenue.
Iran’s Cross-Border Elements In Dubai
Iran’s particular location at the Persian Gulf also helped Iran to evade the sanctions. In geographical terms, the Persian Gulf is dominated by Iran similar, say, to the U.S. dominating the Carribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Iran’s geographical location made it easy for Iran to maintain cross-border elements in places like Dubai. Iran has more companies in Dubai than anywhere else in the world excepting Iran itself. Dubai additionally has a large expatriate population of Iranian businessmen. So, similar to Austria during the Cold War, Dubai is a little country busy importing. As reported at “Iran smuggles in $1 billion of bank notes to skirt sanctions” Iran also engaged in bulk cash smuggling through cash couriers & front companies in Dubai and other locations in or near the Persian Gulf.
First Image: Claudionegri79/Shutterstock.com
Copyright 2015 Fred L. Abrams