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FBI says Ankara's Iran sanction-busting woes not over

When a US federal agent spoke publicly about the investigation into a Turkish-Iranian sanctions-busting scheme and verified rumors that Turkey had tried to get the defendants freed, she confirmed Ankara's fear that more fallout from the scandal is still to come.
Detained Azerbaijani businessman Reza Zarrab (C) is surrounded by journalists as he arrives at a police center in Istanbul on December 17 ,2013. Turkish police detained more than 20 people including the sons of three cabinet ministers and several high-profile businessmen on December 17 in a probe into alleged bribery and corruption, local media reported. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which boasts of being pro-business, has pledged to root out corruption, a

An FBI agent investigating a massive Turkish-Iranian sanctions-busting scheme confirmed that the Turkish government had pressured Washington for the release of key defendants in the illicit trade and that legal proceedings against co-conspirators were far from over. The remarks, the first of their kind by an American official at a public event, spell further trouble for Turkey’s creaky finances and fraught ties with the United States.

FBI special agent Jennifer McReynolds told a Washington audience on Aug. 28, “High-level foreign officials like Turkey’s ministers of justice and foreign affairs and Turkey’s President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan exerted diplomatic pressure. They lobbied the Department of Justice, the State Department and even the White House to release [Reza] Zarrab and [Mehmet Hakan Atilla] without a trial.”

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