Has Alireza Monfared become an albatross around the neck of Dominica ? Look closely at the economic, social, political and human damage that Stanford wreaked upon Antigua. Years after Stanford started serving a sentence of 110 years, Antigua still suffers from the negative publicity generated by its failure to extradite its banking regulator. Leroy King has never had to face justice in the United States, which has permanently damaged its previously cordial relationship with America. Will its failure to extradite Roosevelt Skerrit to New York, for conspiring to evade international and American sanctions on Iran, and money laundering, have the same effect ?
Moreover, will the United States now stake some sort of claim upon assets (or cash) located in Dominica, asserting that they are either Monfared's property, or that they were the fruit of illegal activity, with the money coming from Monfared ? And what about the three billion dollars that Babak Zanjani must pay Iran, to avoid summary execution. His attorney says that Monfared was the true trader of sanctioned oil; whether Iran makes a billion dollar claim in Dominica is unknown, but entirely possible. Iran cannot be happy that Dominica sheltered Monfared, and accepted money that he embezzled from oil sales; Do the math.
Nobody can estimate the total amount of fallout, in its many forms, from the Monfared diplomatic passport scandal, but the longer that Dominican officials try to cover up the truth, the worse the story is going to get. Dominica has already had one national disgrace, in 1979, involving the sale of passports to Iranians, which caused the fall of a Prime Minister. Will history repeat itself ?
Chronicles of Monte Friesner
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock