Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Erdogan helped Iran evade USA sanctions, Zarrab claims

Erdogan helped Iran evade USA sanctions, Zarrab claims

The government's star witness, wealthy Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, conceded in testimony on December 5 that he had a proclivity to pay bribes to get what he wants, under cross-examination from Atilla's defense attorney, Cathy Fleming.

Erdogan said: "Turkey has no plans against the United States, but it is clear that the USA has plans against us".

However he did not say who the payments were made to or how large they were and as yet the Turkish government has not responded.

Erdogan said the trial was a ploy to distract Turkey while Washington makes plans to strengthen Kurdish groups in Syria that Turkey considers to be "terrorists" allied with armed separatists in Turkey, according to RFE/RL. Zarrab's lawyer, Robert Anello, insists that his client recognises the importance of telling the truth. The Iran sanctions "case has nothing to do with law, justice, or trade, it's an acrobatic spectacle", he said.

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The three detained initially are accused of sending documents to the United States regarding the case and links to the group of Fethullah Gulen who Ankara accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 failed coup. The leading mullahs in the Regime are the ones who instructed and authorised this major money laundering scheme; it is not something that two individuals would think to complete on their own, given the incredible risks involved.

The US prosecutors have charged nine defendants in the case of the sanctions evasion scheme, but only Zarrab and Atilla have been arrested by US authorities.

Reza Zarrab, the Turkish gold trader who has become a star federal witness detailing a massive Iran sanctions-busting scheme he devised, testified in Manhattan federal court Tuesday he made $100 million to $150 million from the plot as Turkey's president stepped up criticism of the USA trial.

Ankara has reacted with fury to the switch by Zarrab - once seen as the golden boy of the Turkish business world with a pop star wife - seizing his assets and opening an investigation against him on accusations of "espionage".

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