NEW YORK (RFE/RL) -- Farshid Jahedi, the president of the New York-based
Alavi Foundation, has been
arrested in New York on charges of obstruction of justice.
U.S. authorities claim Jahedi destroyed documents concerning his foundation's
relationship with Bank Melli of Iran and the ownership of a Manhattan office
Bank Melli is designated by the United States as a supporter of Iran's nuclear
Earlier this week, the U.S. Treasury Department sought to seize the 40 percent
stake in a Manhattan skyscraper held by one of Jahedi's companies, Assa Co.
Ltd., claiming that Assa is an intermediary for Bank Melli and funnels money
from the United States to the Iranian bank.
Jahedi's Alavi Foundation describes itself as a philanthropic organization
devoted to the promotion of Islamic and Persian culture. Prosecutors say it is a
successor to the organization once used by the Shah of Iran to support Iranian
interests in the United States.
With material from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2008 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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