U.S. Charges 3 in Scheme to Move U.S. Currency to Iran

August 20, 2020


Voice of America

The U.S. Justice Department charged Ali Chawla, a Pakistani national in the Iranian city of Qom; Asim Naqvi, a U.S. national in Houston; and Muzzamil Zaidi, a U.S. national in Qom, with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by moving U.S. currency to Iran at the behest of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. U.S. officials alleged that Chawla, Zaidi, and other members of the group Islamic Pulse received permission from Khamenei to collect a religious tax on his behalf, sending half the money to Iran and half to Yemen. This operation continued after the United States imposed sanctions on Khamenei in 2019. According to the Justice Department, all three defendants "have considerable operational links" to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).