Report: Turkey should be investigated for financial ties to Iran


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According to a report from the Washington-based think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Turkey should come under harsh international scrutiny for its financial dealings with Iran. If the United States continues to willingly ignore the relationship between the two countries, this could become a major source of frustration for the Obama administration.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies believes that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should be investigated for his connection to Iran, as well as his country's other business dealings and connections both domestically and internationally. The United States has been reluctant to interfere with the financial dealings of the Turkish government, as there is an ongoing scandal in which Erdogan and senior members of his administration are involved.

This scandal is going to expand and become a problem for the Obama administration because of the shady — and possibly illegal — dealings between Turkey and Iran. Because the international community does not know the nature of this financial relationship, there is fear that government money from Turkey is being diverted for state-sponsored terrorism in Iran.

"The corruption scandal has been grabbing headlines in Turkey and the U.S. has made it pretty clear that this is seen as a domestic issue. But what we have noted is that a good number of these corruption stories have intersected with terrorism finance concerns," the report's author and foundation vice president Dr. Jonathan Schanzer told ABC.

The report from the Defense of Democracies comes just after a group of nearly 100 foreign policy experts and officials sent a letter to the Obama administration urging him to take a hard-line stance on Erdogan, not only for his potentially illegal financial dealings with Iran, but for his anti-democratic treatment of Turkish citizens, particularly protestors last year. While the Secretary of State argued that it is not the position of the United States to get involved in the domestic affairs of Turkey, Schanzer believes Turkey's dealings with Iran could have global implications.