Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Germans to Turks to Mullahs: The Back Door

by Michael Ledeen
In all the excitement, it was easy to miss the fact that there were two very high level visitors to Iran late last week and then over the weekend: Turkish President Gul and German Foreign Minister Westerwelle. The sequence was not accidental.
Gul went first, and stayed for four days. The Turks and Iranians are constructing a very complex network of deals and schemes, from coordinating action against Israel, to making the two currencies interchangeable, to making commerce virtually unregulated, to building and maintaining oil and gas pipelines, enabling Turkey to buy Iranian product at bargain prices, and granting exploration and development concessions to Gul’s people.
And there is more, above all Turkey’s role as an enabler for the Iranians’ malevolent programs, from obtaining military technology to funneling cash to terrorists, to getting top euro for Iran’s stash of Western hostages. FOOTNOTE: hostages in Iran are never released unless ransom is paid. When you see hostages coming out, the only questions are 1)how much was paid? and 2) who paid it and how??
Gul was a middleman between the Germans and the Iranians in the matter of the release of two German journalists, whom Westerwelle collected in Tehran and accompanied back home. We need not rely on inside sources to assert a Turkish role. Gul bragged about it in public just today. However, we do need good sources to know what the deal was.
There’s lots of dual-use technology (stuff that can be used for weapons systems or for “civilian” projects) that the Germans want to sell to Iran, but they can’t because of sanctions. So the deal was a classic sanctions-busting maneuver. Germans will sell the stuff to the Turks. The Turks will send it on to the Iranians. And the Iranians toss in two hostages.

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