Friday, 7 May 2010

Israel Matzav: French court orders release of Iranian sought by US

French court orders release of Iranian sought by US

Even when sanctions are in place, parties can interpret them differently. Differing interpretations of sanctions currently in place against Iran have apparently caused France to release an Iranian national who is being sought by the United States.

Majid Kakavand was arrested at Charles de Gaulle airport in France in March 2009 on a U.S. extradition request on charges of having procured sensitive U.S. technology for the Iranian military via a Malaysian front company.

Kakavand, 37, served as the director of a company in Malaysia, Evertop Services, that procured U.S. and European goods for export to Iran. Evertop's main customers were two Iranian military entities, Iran Electronics Industry and Iran Communications Industries.

But a French prosecutor determined yesterday that Kakavand had not broken French law in the items he had sold to Iran, and ordered his release.

“What he was importing was dual use in the same sense that a switch or a cable can be dual use, but nothing more,” a French weapons expert Jean-Louis Barbier who reviewed the items for the defense told the New York Times. “If this is dual use, then everything else is.”

Except that there are hints that what's really at work here is a prisoner exchange:

Meantime, French media reports suggested that the French prosecutor’s decision to release Kakavand could possibly make way for the release of a French teacher, Clotilde Reiss, 24, who had been teaching in the Iranian city of Isfahan before being detained at Tehran airport July 1 after Iran’s June disputed elections trying to return to France. Reiss has been held for several months under modified house arrest at the French embassy in Tehran.

A source familiar with the Kakavand folder who asked to speak anonymously disputed any linkage between the Kakavand and Reiss cases as “baseless.”

The French public prosecutor “who had already asked for the charges to be dropped [against Kakavand] did it on factual grounds,” the source said. “The point is that to extradite somebody, he needs to have committed a felony acoording to both the law of the country that asks for his extradition, and the country where that is asked to proceed with the extradition. And matter of fact, the judges have decided that there was no breach of French or EU laws.”

But the Iranians are trying to do a lot of 'hostage trading.'

Read the whole thing.
Israel Matzav: French court orders release of Iranian sought by US

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...