Pentagon Contractor Suspected of Violating Iran Sanctions

Thursday, 26 Sep 2013 04:03 PM

By Lisa Barron

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A Pentagon contractor that provides food and water to American forces in Afghanistan shipped supplies to build a military warehouse in Iran, a move that may violate U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

Anham FZCO, which has a multi-billion dollar supply contract, unloaded building materials and equipment at Iran's Bandar Abbas seaport last year and then transported them across the country, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Completing the warehouse at Bagram Air Field near Kabul helped Anham to win the estimated $8.1 billion contract in June 2012, according to the newspaper.

Anham told the Journal in a statement that it "has made a voluntary disclosure to the Treasury and Commerce Departments that some items were transshipped through Iran" and that it only became aware in the past week that one of its subcontractors was using the Iran route.

But according to Fox News, which reviewed internal corporate emails and trucking manifests, that is not the case. A senior vice president based at Anham's offices in Vienna, Va., was included on the email distribution list and approved the Iran routing, reports the network.

Anham, which also has offices in Dubai and Kabul, is owned by a consortium of companies from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the U.S., according to its website.

The Treasury Department told the Journal that it doesn't comment on specific companies but that U.S. law generally bars American citizens and Pentagon contractors from shipping goods through Iran.

"We have requested additional information from Anham, as well as appropriate government agencies, to confirm that Anham's actions, including its performance under its contract with [the Defense Logistics Agency] remain in accordance with applicable law and regulations," the Defense Department told the newspaper.

It's not the first time Anham has come under scrutiny for its work with the Pentagon. In 2011, even before it was awarded the Afghanistan contract, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen said that Anham overbilled the Pentagon by at least $4.4 million for spare parts.

An audit "found weak oversight in multiple areas that left the government vulnerable to improper overcharges," Bowen wrote in the forward to his quarterly report, released in 2011.

Among the "egregious examples of overbilling" by Anham were $900 for an electronic control switch valued at $7.05 and $4,500 for a circuit breaker valued at $184.30.

Related:
Obama Pledges Diplomacy With Iran as Rouhani Denounces Sanctions
IG Probing Whether Contractor Fraud Linked to US Afghan Casualties

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