Procurement: Iran Takes A Quiet Beating


September 22,2008:  For the last three years, the U.S. has been waging a quiet, but increasingly aggressive, campaign against the Iranian weapons smuggling networks. In that time, there have been nearly 150 prosecutions, and other operations, mostly in the U.S., but also overseas (particularly in Europe.) Over fifty smugglers have been jailed, and over a hundred have been chased into exile, or inactivity. In addition, Irans major weapons suppliers (China, Russia, North Korea) have been pressured to back off.

Ever since the U.S. embargo was imposed in 1979 (after Iran broke diplomatic protocol by seizing the American embassy), Iran has sought, with some success, to offer big money to smugglers who can beat the embargo and get needed industrial and military equipment. This is a risky business, and American and European prisons are full of Iranians, and other nationals, who tried, and failed, to procure forbidden goods. The smuggling operations are currently under more scrutiny, and attack, because of Iran's growing nuclear weapons program. But the Iranians simply offer more money, and more smugglers step up to keep the goodies coming.





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