On Thursday a New York jury decided it’s OK for the federal government to steal a Manhattan office tower.
According to acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim, the Alavi Foundation and Assa Corporation who jointly own the Piaget Building on Fifth Avenue are guilty of money laundering and violating sanctions imposed on Iran. The building is valued at between $500 and $700 million.
“For over a decade, hiding in plain sight, this 36-story Manhattan office tower secretly served as a front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of U.S. sanctions laws,” Kim said.
The Justice Department said the verdict “allows for substantial recovery for victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism.”
If Trump and his Justice Department were sincerely interested in compensating the victims of terrorism, they’d have a jury decide against Saudi Arabia. Following the United States and Israel, Saudi Arabia is the largest sponsor of terrorism not only in the Middle East but internationally. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi. Most large terror attacks are carried out by Sunni Wahhabi fanatics. Saudi Arabia has supported al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, the Islamic State, and dozens of other violent and fanatical Wahhabi groups.
Ever since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, the United States has been at war with the country. It imposed sanctions on Iran after the revolution and expanded them in 1995 to prevent companies from working with the Iranian government. From the start, the United States crippled Iran by targeting investments in oil, gas, petrochemicals, and refined petroleum products.
The P5+1 agreement was set to lift many sanctions but Trump inserted himself in the process and demanded a hardline stance against Iran. Trump campaigned against the nuclear deal with Iran. His Defense Secretary is a staunch anti-Iran activist.
Of course, when it comes to favored transnational corporations, it’s business as usual. In May, the Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Dennis Muilenburg said a $16.6 billion deal to sell 80 airplanes to Iran Air was on track despite Goldman Sachs Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announcing a review of licenses for the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran.
Only the state can steal skyscrapers and get away with it. During war nearly everything is doable, from killing thousands to starving populations and grabbing vast swaths of real estate and property. A consensus is gained through fear and propaganda. The parasitical instinct of the state is unrivaled.