FEDERAL COURT, Jan 29 – A professor is charged with violation US law by lobbying for Iran and its Mission to the UN, including a US Congress members, without registering under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act.
The US Attorney for the EDNY has charged Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, also known as “Lotfolah Kaveh Afrasiabi,” with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of FARA. Full complaint on Patreon, here.
Afrasiabi was arrested on January 18 at his home in Watertown, Massachusetts, and appeared on January 19 in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, before United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here.
Now on January 29, it emerges that lobbyist Afrasiabi wants to represent himself: "ORDER as to Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi *** At the request of Mr. Keefe, who has been advising the defendant, the case is set down for arraignment before me at February 10 at 10 AM. I will then address the defendant's pro se request to represent himself. Ordered by Judge Edward R. Korman on 1/29/2021." Accompanying this are some emails, now on Patreon here. Watch this site.
Inner City Press will stay on this case.
On the morning of January 19, given the multiple references in the complaint to the UN, Inner City Press in writing asked UN Sec-Gen Antonio Guterres and his spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming, "What are comments and actions if any of SG Guterres on today's EDNY indictment of Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, a/k/a “Lotfolah Kaveh Afrasiabi,” with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of US FARA?"
Hours later, no answer, on that, or the UN Federal Credit Union's role. Inner City Press was by Guterres banned from attending the UN noon briefing to ask - this while the UN gives multiple taxpayer funded office to Iran state media. No one else allowed in asked about the case.
In fact in the UN noon briefing Inner City Press was banned from, this from Iranian state media:
UN Spokesman Dujarric: Mohsen?
Question: Thank you, Stéphane. My question is about the Iran’s voting rights over unpaid dues. The Iranian officials say they have been in talks with the Secretariat for now to resolve this issue. Also, they believe the main problem is US [audio gap, inaudible] unilateral sanctions. Can you explain the latest developments and efforts that have been made to solve this problem?
Spokesman Dujarric: There are two... thank you for the question. There are two separate issues. As you state, it is... we have, in fact, been in close touch with the Permanent Mission of Iran, as well as other relevant Iranian authorities. It's clear from our side that Iran is keen to find a way to pay into the UN budget. But, as you know, I think there... specific circumstances are making such payments difficult to transfer. But we have been in discussions; we will continue to be in discussions and we fully recognise the goodwill of the Iranian authorities to try to find a solution. We're all trying to find a solution.
Today's UN is corrupt - Guterres only cares about getting money, not complying with any law.
From the complaint:
AFRASIABI received more than $265,000 from the IMUN in checks payable to him and drawn on official bank accounts held in the name of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations. The memo lines of many of the most recently issued checks have explicitly described the payments as “salary.” 78. Many of the payments made to AFRASIABI by officials of the GOI assigned to the IMUN since 2012 have been drawn on the IMUN’s bank account at a financial institution in Long Island City in Queens, New York."
Would that be the UN Federal Credit Union, about which Inner City Press has previously reported, before being banned by Guterres, now seeking a second term as UNSG? Watch this site.
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