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How to circumvent U.S. sanctions through proxy states: a “how-to” and a “who will help you”

By Robert Carmona-Borjas

U.S. politicians have long operated at the behest of foreign actors, public and private, under a veil of bilateral diplomacy. While some may have recently assisted their daughter or sons’ first foray in to the Ukrainian energy sector at a bargain-basement monthly retainer of $50,000+, others from sunshine states such as Hawaii take diplomatic strolls through disputed territories at the request of powerful foreign lobbies.

And then there are those Congressional leaders who quietly associate through proxy states with global neighbors whose actions we deem presently and particularly unsavory, such as Russia or Iran; those U.S. dignitaries colluding with a gateway player and puppet to the Eurasian Customs Union, a cabal presently shoring up military partnerships, sharing technological ties and it appears, even collaborating on funneling capital through said proxy state, all the while apparently with Congressional enablement.

The nation I speak of is plainly, Armenia, a geopolitical Switzerland to terrorism sponsors Iran and Russia. And while today U.S. Congressman Rep. Adam Schiff is making all the headlines at the crux of potential impeachment proceedings that could implode an explosive Presidency and clamoring ‘Russia Collusion!’, Schiff has, alongside actors such as Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (who famously commended a non-existent Artsakh Parliament) and Rep. Pallone, colluded about as indirectly, together serving as stalwart supporters of Armenia, known, understood as and correctly treated by the world as a vassal nation of Russia and a close ally of Iran.

Armenia openly circumvents U.S. will and props up actors such as Russia and Iran, serving as a financial off-ramp to economic sanctions. The efforts of Armenia realized through select U.S. Congresspersons empower both States, each hosting torrid human rights abuses, with one delisting opposition groups seeking to have a nation’s voices heard against a once KGB, always KGB authoritarian, the other seeking to “push” key U.S. allies such as the nation of Israel “into the sea”, all the while incentivizing Congresspersons to defund border defense initiatives of their neighbor, Azerbaijan, those that are critical to preserving American security.

Iran in particular has routinely violated conditions for U.S.-imposed economic sanctions to be lifted by continuing to enrich uranium so to fulfill a grave nuclear mission. Hassan Rouhani’s views on the United States could not be clearer – “The international community must confront America’s hostile and unilateralist approach by taking a definitive decision and effective actions,” he stated at a speech at a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union in Armenia, according to the official IRNA news agency. At the very same Eurasian Economic Union gathering, Rouhani committed to deepen ties between Armenia and Iran, to no immediate surprise.

Yet rather than punish actors that allow Armenia to encourage an economic funneling of bad actors, a powerful Armenian lobby operating with Congressional aid looks to perpetuate the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and, defund and destabilize a region, that, without U.S. support, compromises America’s foreign interests and prospects for peace abroad.

Rep. Pallone, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, has made obvious where his support lies, recently stating that he believes the U.S. should “provide zero military aid to Azerbaijan”; a staunchly unilateral stance against the interests of his own country, regarding a nation that has been deemed a target of Armenian military attacks. Azerbaijan is frankly, a multicultural, ethnically tolerant hub in a region aflame, a nation that, if not supported, would be largely unable to defend itself from becoming a potential vital thruway for both Iran and Russia, yet one that remains today diametrically opposed to Armenia’s allowance of Russia and Iran to escape U.S.-imposed economic sanctions.

Iranians in other countries, including the U.S. and Europe, have previously faced sanctions-related difficulties in their personal banking. We must target specific entities that are allowing for nations like Armenia to destabilize global security and support an Iran fueling terrorism. More simply must be done to condemn Armenia’s role as proxy to puppet-masters from Tehran and Moscow; more must be done to call out those Congressmen and women that are subtly propping up regimes out to hurt our allies, hurt their own people, while besmirching our own foreign policy, allow for the reshaping of world order in the image of our opponents and ultimately compromise U.S. interests.

Robert Carmona-Borjas is the Founder and CEO of the Arcadia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit aiming to curb corruption in developing governments. The views expressed are his own.

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