US offers $5 million reward for Chinese businessman allegedly supplying missile parts to Iran
The United States offered a reward of up to $5 million on Tuesday for a Chinese businessman accused of supplying missile parts to Iran, and targeted companies from China and Dubai for allegedly helping Iran evade weapons and oil sanctions.So why are we trying to cut a deal with Iran when we know it does not respect existing sanctions? Who believes they will honor any agreement?
In a signal Washington will keep pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. Treasury Department said it was sanctioning eight of Chinese businessman Li Fangwei's Chinese companies for allegedly procuring missile parts for Iran.
The U.S. State Department said it was offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Li, who is also known as Karl Lee.
Li has been the target of U.S. sanctions in the past for his alleged role as a principle supplier to Iran's ballistic missile program.
The State Department said the announcement of the bounty for Li was coordinated with Treasury and the Justice Department, which unsealed an indictment against him on charges including conspiracy to commit money laundering, bank fraud, and wire fraud.
"According to the Indictment, he (Li) controls a large network of front companies and allegedly uses this network to move millions of dollars through U.S.-based financial institutions to conduct business in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations, which prohibit such financial transactions," the State Department said in a statement.
Treasury also said it was targeting a firm based in Dubai and several associated individuals for helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions against its oil industry.