Plouffe was reportedly paid by the MTN Group—whose subsidiary is Irancell—for two December 2010 speeches in Nigeria, company and administration officials told the Washington Post. The report comes amid the U.S. government’s efforts to institute crippling economic sanctions against Iran in order to curb its growing nuclear program. The Obama administration, according to the Washington Free Beacon, lobbied Congressional Democrats against a measure to ban telecommunications firms like MTN from doing business with Iran.
“David Plouffe may be the biggest loophole in the international community’s sanctions against Iran,” said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.
A pending lawsuit against MTN accuses the company of trafficking illegal arms to Iran and bribing Iranian officials, the Free Beacon reported.
“Companies looking to profit from Iran will find it very difficult to avoid associating with IRGC (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps) entities which are helping the regime develop nuclear weapons, are implicated in terrorist activities and the killing of American troops, and which have set up a vast apparatus to repress the Iranian people,” Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told the Free Beacon.