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Iranian National and U.A.E. Business Organization Charged with Criminal Conspiracy to Violate Iranian Sanctions

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Washington, DC – Amin Mahdavi, 53, an Iranian national living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Parthia Cargo LLC, a freight forwarding company located in the UAE, were charged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with participating in a criminal conspiracy to violate U.S. export laws and sanctions against Iran.

Iran evades the U.S. embargo resulting from their malicious activities with the collaboration of those who pose as innocent buyers, but who are ready to send the products on to their forbidden destination, said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. These charges against Parthia Cargo LLC and its managing director should put on notice all freight forwarders and others who facilitate illicit transshipments to Iran that their conduct will not be tolerated.

We will not abide individuals or business organizations that seek to harm our national security by providing coveted U.S. goods to Iran, and we will pursue these wrongdoers no matter where they are located in the world, said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin for the District of Columbia.

Amin Mahdavi defiantly conspired and violated U.S. sanctions to benefit his company and Iran, said James A. Dawson, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. Todays charges are another example of the dedicated and unrelenting efforts of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to pursue those who violate our nation’s sanctions and put our national security at risk. The FBI is charged with protecting our nation’s security and intellectual property from being used to benefit our foreign adversaries.

The actions today are a result of the ongoing coordination and collaborative counter proliferation efforts by the Office of Export Enforcement and the FBI, saidP. Lee Smith, of BIS. The Boston Field Office of the Office of Export Enforcement will continue to vigorously pursue violators with all law enforcement partners to interdict illicit trade that threatens U.S. national security and undermines U.S. foreign policy.

Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to defraud the United States and to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSRs).

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Mahdavi was the Managing Director of Parthia Cargo LLC, a business organization that facilitated the illegal shipment to Iran of goods manufactured in the United States. Mahdavi acknowledged to U.S. government officials in 2017 that he understood a U.S. government license was necessary to lawfully ship U.S. commercial aircraft parts to Iran. But Mahdavi nonetheless agreed to help ship a U.S.-origin commercial aircraft part to an Iranian air transport company, utilizing the freight forwarding services of Parthia Cargo LLC and without obtaining a license. Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC conspired with individuals and business organizations located outside the United States as part of the criminal scheme, which included falsely stating to a U.S.-based aircraft parts supplier that the goods would not be shipped to Iran unless authorized by the U.S. government.

A concurrent action was filed by the Department of the Treasury, sanctioning Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC, as well as a related UAE business organization, Delta Parts Supply FZC.

If convicted, Mahdavi would face up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000, and Parthia Cargo LLC would face a fine of up to $500,000. The criminal charge in the complaint is an allegation, and Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation was conducted by the FBIs Washington Field Office and the BISs Boston Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Friedman and National Security Division Trial Attorney Jennifer Kennedy Gellie are representing the United States.



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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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