Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Iranians Buy Foreign Passports to Evade U.S. Travel Sanctions

AFP Youssouf Ibrahim
Iranians are buying passports from foreign countries to evade U.S. sanctions, and Iraq is becoming a veritable supermarket of phony papers for Iranian travelers, according to a Fox News report Wednesday.
One source for the Fox report was an “Iraqi insider” who said Baghdad makes it easy for enterprising Iranians to buy passports and “continue doing business with the West” despite renewed American sanctions:
One longtime Iraq-based, Western security expert stressed the Iranian influence inside Iraq has become “significantly heightened” since the ISIS [Islamic State] onslaught, along with the establishment of a “Shia corridor” that enables unprecedented access—from Tehran through Baghdad, onto Damascus and then Beirut, posing a direct threat to Israel’s security.
Several counter-terrorism specialists in the U.S. also affirmed that security concerns over the passport issue have been heightened in recent months.
“It is going on, and it is not difficult to do—especially if you have a friendly government helping you out,” noted a former intelligence official currently working as a counter-terrorism consultant in the Middle East. “Iran has many allies in high-level positions in Baghdad.”
Selling passports to Iranians is such a lucrative racket that three Iraqi officials may have been assassinated over the past three months because they would not go along with the scheme.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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