The Corner

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On Useful Idiocy (or Head, Meet Sand)


Yesterday, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney filed suit to seize the property of the Alavi Foundation, including a skyscraper in New York and four mosques. According to the summary of the complaint:

The Alavi Foundation has been providing numerous services to the Iranian Government, including managing the Building for the Iranian Government, running a charitable organization for the Iranian Government, and transferring funds from 650 Fifth Avenue Company to Bank Melli. Likewise, Assa Corporation and Assa Company Limited (“Assa Co. Ltd.”) have been providing numerous services to Bank Melli in contravention of IEEPA and the Iranian Transactions Regulations promulgated thereunder, including transferring rental income generated from 650 Fifth Avenue Company to Bank Melli, following Bank Melli’s instructions with regard to Assa Corporation’s affairs, reporting back to Bank Melli on Assa Corporations’s financial situation and business dealings, and managing the affairs of Assa Corporation for the benefit of Bank Melli.

The whole complaint is a veritable mine of information about what the Alavi Foundation was up to. It might also be assumed that, while the U.S. government has gone after the Alavi Foundation for financial illegalities, the concern about its activities extends beyond the financial, especially should it become a vehicle by which Iranian officials can, by proxy, escape limitations on their movement inside the United States.

At any rate, for the academic view of the Alavi Foundation, it’s always fun to read the writings of Prof. William O. Beeman, which are at best head-in-sand and at worst the conspiratorial rantings of a man who seeks to ingratiate himself to the Islamic Republic at any price and cannot conceive that the Islamic Republic is different from the romantic notions of Iran he harbors from his youth.