By: Denise Simon – FoundersCode.com
Clinton’s Shadow Diplomat: Thomas Pickering and Russia’s Pipeline Sales to Iran…
CenterforSecurityPolicy: “Clinton’s Shadow Diplomat” is a hard-hitting investigative report from the Center for Security Policy, exposing the ties of former Ambassador Thomas Pickering to a Putin-linked Russian company that sold oil and gas pipelines to Iran and Syria when Pickering was on its Board of Directors. The report reveals Pickering’s overlapping roles: as Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Advisor, as an Advisory Board member for two Iranian advocacy groups, as a paid Director for a Russian firm selling pipeline to Iran and Syria, as a paid consultant to Iranian aircraft contractor Boeing, and as a Senate committee hearing witness, all with a common goal of ending economic sanctions on Iran and reversing U.S. Iran policies.
As meticulously documented in “Clinton’s Shadow Diplomat,” Pickering was a paid Director for the Russian-owned company Trubnaya Metallurgicheskaya Kompaniya (TMK) from June 30, 2009 to June 26, 2012. TMK is majority-owned by Russian billionaire oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky, a close Putin ally.
The investigation discovered extensive proof of TMK’s business dealings in Iran and Syria while Pickering was on the Board, including a financial offering disclosure, catalogs, marketing materials, websites, press releases, legal documents, reports from the steel industry press and Iranian customer websites. Sales of oil and gas pipelines to Iran were specifically prohibited under U.S. laws and executive orders.
According to TMK’s records, Pickering attended 143 of the 145 TMK Board meetings. Pickering is estimated to have been paid over half a million dollars for his service to TMK, based on TMK’s compensation rules.
“Clinton’s Shadow Diplomat” documents TMK’s relationships with three Iranian customers, all listed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as “Specially Designated Nationals” during the years Pickering served on the Board: the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Petropars, and Pars Oil and Gas Company.
The investigation also shows TMK’s relationships with three Syrian customers listed by OFAC as “Specially Designated Nationals” in 2011, while Pickering was on the Board: the Syrian Gas Company, the Syrian Petroleum Company, and the Al Furat Petroleum Company. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from conducting any kind of business with “Specially Designated Nationals.”
Thomas Pickering was appointed by Clinton as Chairman for the Benghazi Accountability Review Board three months after he left TMK. Starting in December 2011, he also served in official capacity on Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Emails released from Clinton’s private server show that Pickering was emailing and meeting with Clinton and her staff from the beginning of her time as Secretary of State, arguing for an end to economic sanctions on Iran, during the same years he was on TMK’s Board of Directors.
“Clinton’s Shadow Diplomat” raises questions for the American public and policymakers about Thomas Pickering’s and Hillary Clinton’s priorities. Did they put America’s interests first, or those of Iran and Russia?
Pickering was briefly the president of the Eurasia Foundation, a Washington-based organization that makes small grants and loans in the states of the former Soviet Union.
As Russian software company Luxoft prepared to offer shares on the U.S. stock market, its executives turned to a well-known U.S. diplomat.
Thomas Pickering, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia who also served as undersecretary of state for political affairs under President Bill Clinton, agreed in May 2013 to be a director of Luxoft Holding Inc. a month before the company’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The relationship between Luxoft and Pickering, whose diplomatic career spans six presidents and four decades, is detailed in the massive Panama Papers leak and comes amid a global debate over the role of offshore companies. Luxoft is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. More here from McClatchy/MiamiHerald.
Anyone find it curious that Luxoft just happened to be protected from the U.S. sanctions list due to the Russian invasion of Crimea and Ukraine? Barack Obama signed a couple of Executive Orders against Russia in 2014 as published here by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. State Department, but Luxoft was exempt.
Luxoft Gains in U.S. as Sales Shielded From Sanctions while this company has an intriguing business model:
Industries / areas:
Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Banking and Financial Services, Education, Entertainment, Industrial, Insurance, Media, Publishing, Retail / Distribution, Science and Research, Software and Technology, Telecom, Transportation, Travel
Global headquarters: Moscow Russia
Worldwide office locations:
New York, Seattle United States US; Kiev, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine UA; London United Kingdom GB; Bucharest Romania RO; Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam VN; Eschborn/Frankfurt Germany DE; Krakow Poland PL; Singapore Singapore SG
Russian office locations:
St. Petersburg Russia RU, Omsk Russia RU, Dubna Russia RU
The United States last week experienced the largest intrusion of the internet affecting social media platforms and Internet Service Providers. The further investigations found that specific malware was used via the pathway of the ‘Internet of Things’. IoT is all those other appliances that are attached to the internet for communications.
So this slide is rather fascinating and may have some clues to domestic cyber threats and risks…
LUXOFT HORIZONTAL TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE – IOT PRACTICE
While it’s called the Internet of Things, it’s really about the data you gather from those connected “things” and the derived insights that help you make improvements to your business – new service offerings, transformed product lines, and improved time-to-market.
IOT can help you transform your business.