September 16, 2020

PETTY: U.S. Think Tank Under Fire for Hosting Top Iranian Official.

The Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan U.S. think tank that employs numerous former government officials, is scheduled to host next Tuesday Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, the regime’s top spokesman and architect of the landmark nuclear accord, for a virtual conversation on the Zoom meeting platform. The event comes just days after Iran tortured and executed popular Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari over his participation in a peaceful protest. The execution sparked outrage across the globe and is casting a shadow over the CFR event.

Trump administration and congressional officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about the upcoming event expressed outrage that CFR would host Zarif after his government executed Afkari, who has since become a poster boy for Iran’s human-rights abuses.

The event also runs afoul of U.S. sanctions laws, according to a legal group. Under strict interpretations of the current law, Americans are prohibited from providing any services, including technology services like those used to host the event, to sanctioned individuals such as Zarif. The event could serve as a test for the Treasury Department as it determines how the law should be enforced. While Americans are permitted to meet with sanctioned individuals under the auspices of the United Nations in New York City, meetings of this nature remain in a legal gray area.

It looks to me like the CFR is sticking its thumb in Trump’s eye for undoing Barack Obama & John Kerry’s disastrous Iran Deal.

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