EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Intel Chief Violating Iran Sanctions?

March 5, 2009

Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM , March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama's pick for a top intelligence post sits on the board of a major oil company owned by the Chinese government that is in the midst of a multibillion dollar deal with Iran which may violate U.S. sanctions, reports Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily.

The oil company is widely seen as conducting business deals meant to expand China's influence worldwide. One of its recent attempts to purchase a large U.S. oil firm drew bipartisan congressional opposition amid fears the deal would harm American national security interests.

Charles "Chas" Freeman , U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, is slated to head the U.S. National Intelligence Council. Since 2004, Freeman has been on the international advisory board of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC.

Ma Bing , an analyst for CNOOC's investor relations department, today confirmed to WND that Freeman is still on the board. He said Freeman's role is to "provide the [company] management with strategic advice on world events and macro issues that may impact our development."

In 2006, CNOOC, with Freeman on its advisory board, signed a memorandum of understanding with the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company to develop Iran's North Pars gas field in a contract with Tehran reportedly worth $16 billion. The deal was stalled for two years after the U.S. State and Treasury Departments vowed to scrutinize the transaction to see if it violates either international or U.S. sanctions against Iran .

The Iranian oil company announced it finalized the development plan with CNOOC last December. The two companies are negotiating the contract price.

A State Department spokesperson told WND that the U.S. government will look into the deal after it is concluded to determine if it violates American sanctions. The Treasury Department in the past acted swiftly against international firms said to violate the sanctions.

Freeman did not return WND requests for comment left with a media representative at the Middle East Policy Council, where he serves as director.

Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of American congressmen called for a review of alleged financial ties between Freeman and the Saudi government. His Middle East Policy Council, a Washington -based, Saudi-backed nonprofit, received tens of thousands of dollars a year from Osama bin Laden family and hundreds of thousands more from other Saudi donors.


Media Contact: M. Sliwa Public Relations, 973-272-2861, media@msliwa.com

SOURCE Aaron Klein , WorldNetDaily.com

Copyright © 2008 PR Newswire Association LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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