Featured Iraq

Iraq emerges as new front for enforcement of Iran oil sanctions

Persian Gulf waters off Iraq have become a new, important waypoint for Iranian oil smugglers looking to avoid U.S. sanctions, according to American officials, who expressed frustration that Baghdad and other allies aren’t acting more aggressively to enforce curbs on commerce with Tehran. Iranian tankers now regularly transfer… Read More

US action against Islamic State financier shows Jihadists’ cash flow continues from Turkey

The U.S. designation last week of a new Turkey-based member of the notorious Rawi Network for allegedly facilitating money transfers to the Islamic State (IS) in Syria has raised fresh concerns among observers that jihadists continue to use Turkey to fund their activities in Syria. The Rawi Network, founded by… Read More

How U.S. taxpayer dollars may have bought a Kurdish strongman’s Beverly Hills mansions

Bribing one politician is bad. Bribing all the politicians is worse. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a group of companies in Kurdistan, Iraq’s semi-independent northern region, that appears to be doing the latter in order to secure a monopoly on Pentagon fuel contracts worth hundreds of… Read More
9th July 2020
Last week Italian law enforcement agents carried out what they said was the world’s largest ever drugs bust of amphetamines. A video from the Guardia di Finanza, a financial crime and smuggling investigations unit attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, shows officers using circular saws to cut… Read More
25th June 2020
Five eminent Parisian antiques specialists have been arrested on suspicion of selling looted Middle Eastern artefacts worth tens of millions of euros. The experts are suspected of masking the origin of the items before selling them to clients, including some of the world’s leading museums, such as the Louvre’s… Read More
16th June 2020
Last year, China replaced the United States as the No. 1 importer of oil from Venezuela, yet another front in the heated rivalry between Washington and Beijing. The United States had imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company as part of a bid to topple that country’s socialist president, Nicolas… Read More
15th June 2020
Its currency has plunged by 70% since April, more than half its people face food scarcity, and hopes of rebuilding a country shattered by war continue to ebb. Syria seems barely able to absorb new shocks, but new US sanctions that take effect next week, could devastate what is left… Read More
24th May 2020
If you have been dreaming of getting away from the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, you can — provided you have some cash in hand. For the starting sum of $150,000, you can buy your citizenship of the pristine Caribbean islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis. With their pure… Read More
5th May 2020
The Border Force officers had struck gold, it seemed. Or at least extremely valuable clay. Two metal trunks stuffed with cuneiform tablets apparently shedding light on the ancient world had been seized at Heathrow, interrupting a smuggling chain that linked the looted treasures of Mesopotamia with Britain’s collectors. When the… Read More
6th April 2020
A shadowy Hezbollah intelligence operative in Iraq has close ties to what the US refers to as a key money-laundering network by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, an investigation by The National has found. In November 2018, the US sanctioned Mohammad Abd Al Hadi Farhat, saying the Lebanese… Read More
27th March 2020
The United States blacklisted five Iran- and Iraq-based companies and 15 individuals on Thursday for supporting terrorist groups, its third round of sanctions on Iranian targets in the last two weeks even as Tehran battles the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department accused those targeted of supporting… Read More
18th March 2020
The U.S. blacklisted the new leader of Islamic State as a specially designated global terrorist, the State Department said Tuesday. The designation of Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla comes as the U.S. continues to add pressure on ISIS, which the U.S. has designated as a foreign terrorist organization. Efforts to… Read More
27th February 2020
An air transport communications company has agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle allegations it did business with airlines that the U.S. had placed on a terrorist blacklist. Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques SCRL, a private Swiss company, provided commercial services and software to airlines based in Iran, Syria and… Read More