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How Egypt Is Helping Iran to Circumvent Sanctions

“Egypt is expanding its financial ties with Iran through a jointly owned financial institution: the Misr Iran Development Bank…Today, the MIDB may have become a vehicle for Iran to circumvent economic sanctions with extensive help from Egypt, one of America's closest allies in the region. It is a testament to how difficult it can be for the U.S. to enforce international sanctions, even among countries that appear to be natural allies in the effort to deter Iran.”



Pundicity
November 15, 2010
By Jonathan Schanzer

If you ever find yourself in downtown Tehran, it's hard to miss the five-story-tall mural commemorating Khaled al-Islambouli, the man who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in October 1981. The mural has long been a symbol of Iran's deep disdain for Egypt's secular rulers, particularly their peace with Israel and their alliance with the U.S. The mutual animosity has endured over the years, from Egyptian support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War to the 2009 arrest of 26 members of an Iran-backed Hizbullah cell in Egypt. In recent years, Cairo has also expressed its staunch opposition to Iran's nuclear program, which Egypt and other Arab states view as a threat.

But Egypt-Iran relations are not as black-and-white as they may seem. Egypt is expanding its financial ties with Iran through a jointly owned financial institution: the Misr Iran Development Bank. MIDB was founded in 1975, four years before Iran's Islamic revolution, and has somehow endured the tumult since. Today, the MIDB may have become a vehicle for Iran to circumvent economic sanctions with extensive help from Egypt, one of America's closest allies in the region. It is a testament to how difficult it can be for the U.S. to enforce international sanctions, even among countries that appear to be natural allies in the effort to deter Iran.

Egypt controls 59.86 percent of MIDB, split evenly between the state-owned National Investment Bank and Misr Insurance Company, which is partially owned by the state. Iran's 40.14 percent share in MIDB, worth about $80 million, is held by the Iran Foreign Investment Company. The IFIC is the investment arm of Iran's Oil Stabilization Fund, a sovereign wealth vehicle that generates profits for the Iranian government, with investments in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and beyond.

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Karzai Confirms His Office Gets Cash from Iran




The New York Times
October 25, 2010
Kabul, Afghanistan

A bombing in western Afghanistan on Tuesday killed four Afghan policemen, including a local police chief.

The bomb appeared to be targeting the top police official in Obe district and exploded as his vehicle drove past, said Naqib Arwen, a spokesman for the governor of Herat province where the blast took place.

"It was a very strong explosion," he said. "We are investigating, but our initial reports show that it was a remote-controlled bomb."

In eastern Afghanistan's Logar province, a senior Taliban leader who is believed to have played a role in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of two U.S. sailors in July, was captured along with two of his associates on Monday, according to NATO.

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Islamic Charity Uses Earthquake Relief to Push Mosque Expansion in Haiti


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Shariah Finance Watch
October 4, 2010
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

One of the largest Islamic charities in the United States, LIFE for Relief and Development, has used the ongoing crisis in Haiti to fund mosque expansion in Haiti.

Haiti has almost no Muslims. Even Islamic sources, which are notorious for wildly overestimating Muslim population levels, put the figure at 3,000 Muslims in the Caribbean nation out of nearly 9.9 million people. Reports indicate that as much as $3 million will be used to “renovate” 5 mosques.

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Suspected Terrorists Plan More Robberies

Money Jihad points out that infidels and their Western currency cannot be trusted according to Muhammad in Sura 3, Verse 68. This article is about a bank robbery where the objective was to use the money to fund terror. "Some of the suspected robbers are former thugs who have been recruited by the radical Islamic network and undergone indoctrination. They believe robbery is permissible if it is perpetrated against infidels.”

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The Jakarta Post
October 21, 2010

An armed group held responsible for a bank heist in the North Sumatra capital of Medan last month has planned to rob three branch offices of state bank BRI in the province, three motor showrooms, a money changer and the house of elected Tanjung Balai regent in Riau, police say.

National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri said on Friday the money collected from the planned robberies would be used to finance terror attacks in the country.

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French High Court Quashes Islamic Finance Measure




Expatica
October 16, 2010
Paris, France

France's highest constitutional authority on Wednesday struck down a provision of a new law that would have opened up French banking to Islamic finance.

The National Assembly last month adopted the measure to allow Sharia-compliant financing despite opposition from the Socialists who asked the Constitutional Council to rule on its legality.

Opposition deputies had complained that staunchly secular France must not allow principles of Sharia law to be recognized in legislation.

The measure would have provided a legal basis for Islamic "sukuk" bonds, which are asset-based and do not pay interest. Investors receive coupons corresponding to part of the profits earned by the asset underpinning the bond.

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