Who Shut Down Knesset Investigation into Ofer Brothers Violation of Iran Embargo?

Who Shut Down Knesset Investigation into Ofer Brothers Violation of Iran Embargo?

 

ofer brothersSammy and Yuli Ofer, Israel’s richest men, violated Iran embargo (Haaretz)

I haven’t covered or even followed in any great detail the Ofer Brothers scandal involving illegal trade between Israel and Iran.  But developments today really perked up my ears.  First a bit of background: Ofer Brothers are Israel’s wealthiest family, owning shipping and other interests.  They were recently named to a Treasury Department blacklist for engaging in illegal trade with Iran, which included their ships docking at Iranian ports numerous times and sale of one of their tankers to an Iranian shipping company.

 

This news has erupted into a medium-sized scandal in Israel with the company claiming it had the government’s approval to engage in such trade.  This of course would mean that the government colluded with commercial interests against international sanctions.  Those of you with an interest in intelligence activities and cloak and dagger mystery can imagine why this might be the case.  The government, of course, denies the claims.  The company also claims the government is attempting to get it removed from the blacklist with the foreign ministry denying it is doing so.  All very strange.

Today, a new wrinkle occurred in the case. A Knesset committee was in the middle of a hearing on the affair when the chair was passed a note by a mysterious source, upon which the MK abruptly adjourned the hearing.  No explanation, at least no credible one.  The military censor, who was present at the hearing (because the Knesset speaker had warned that secret information might be revealed) denied causing the adjournment, as does the Knesset security office.  But their denials are unconvincing because they’re not denying they sent the note, but rather denying being the cause of the adjournment.  Unless and until you know the contents of the note, you can’t tell a thing.  But someone, probably in the intelligence community, wanted this hearing stopped in order to protect intelligence assets or activities involving Iran.

Further, Meir Dagan, Israel’s more recent former Mossad chief, has publicly pooh-poohed the affair as much ado about nothing.  Which of course does not mean that it is much ado about nothing, but rather than the Mossad probably doesn’t want the public to know about collaboration between his agency and Ofer Brothers in surveilling or penetrating Iranian facilities or infrastructure.

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This entry was posted in Corporations, Corruption, Events, Iran, Israel. Bookmark the permalink.

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