When I lived in Tajikistan back in 1997, a branch of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee opened within eyesight of the U.S. embassy. Within days, the State Department evacuated non-essential personnel. The reason was simple: While the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee describes itself as a charity and, indeed, often distributes blankets and food to the poor, the Supreme Leader controls its assets, and the group has a very close relationship to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Two years ago, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Lebanese branches of the Committee “for being owned or controlled by Hizbullah and for providing financial and material support to Hizbullah and its director.” The Committee has engaged in suspicious activities not only in Tajikistan and Lebanon, but also in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Somalia.
Enter the United Nations.
The Islamic Republic’s official news agency has announced cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund:
United Nations Population Fund has voiced readiness to cooperate with the relief aid committee on health and rehabilitation of bread-earning women… Imam Khomeini relief aid committee has signed letter of understanding on broadening cooperation with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The World Health Organization and OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), he said.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with supporting women’s health but there are many charities out there to choose from, most of which are not tainted by involvement in terrorism. Given that money is fungible, and the Iranians use the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee for surveillance and to provide cover to terror operatives, it is shameful that the United Nations would embrace the group. This raises the possibility that U.S. funding for these UN agencies may contribute to Iranian terror attacks which kill U.S. civilians. Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Rice: is anyone awake at the State Department, or are American national security and the well-being of American citizens now of secondary concern to the State Department?