When Donald Trump spoke to the nation earlier today, he tried desperately to pretend that his so-called “strategy” for Iran had paid dividends and that the increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran were all the fault of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
As is usually the case with Trump, his remarks were pure bullshit and had no grounding in either fact or reality.
There is, however, a factual reality that the president conveniently failed to disclose as he debated policy as it relates to Iran. And that’s his many financial connections to the Iranians, including deals made with shady characters who have direct ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the very military agency that launched those ballistic missiles at our troops stationed in Iraq on Tuesday evening.
Russ Choma of Mother Jones has just posted a fascinating report on exactly how close the Trump Organization has been to Iranian businessmen who are in bed with the Iranian government and military:
“In 2012, Trump signed a deal to develop a luxury hotel in Baku, the capital of oil-and-gas-rich Azerbaijan.
“Trump’s partners were relatives of Ziya Mammadov, the country’s transportation minister and a former Soviet apparatchik with a $12,000 annual salary who had still managed to amass billions in personal wealth.
“And then there’s the matter of Iran. According to an excellent 2017 Adam Davidson investigation in the New Yorker, the Mammadov family appears to have had close business ties to construction companies controlled by an associate of the Revolutionary Guard.”
There’s no way that Trump or his company can claim they didn’t know the people they were doing business with in the Baku deal had ties to Iran and the Iranian military. And that’s just some of the incredibly questionable behavior exhibited by the Mammadovs:
“Including duffel bags stuffed with millions of dollars in cash paid to contractors. But the Trumps claimed never to have noticed anything amiss. A Trump executive told the New Yorker that the company did due diligence on the Mammadovs, but wouldn’t reveal who did the background check or what the results were.”
One member of the Trump Organization was intimately involved in the Baku hotel negotiations, meaning she may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. That person is Ivanka Trump, who carefully oversaw tiny details of what the interior of the building would look like:
“A subcontractor noted that Ivanka’s team was particular about wood panelling: it chose an expensive Macassar ebony, from Indonesia, for the ceiling of the lobby. The ballroom doors were to be made of book-matched panels of walnut.”
So the next time you hear Donald Trump talking tough about Iran, keep in mind he’s got his own dirty little secret that runs directly through the government in Tehran. But don’t expect him to ever mention that fact.