White House senior advisor David Plouffe received a $100,000 speaking fee from the parent company of an Iranian government-linked telecommunications provdier, according to a JNS news report. He was was reportedly paid by the MTN Group—whose subsidiary is Irancell—for two December 2010 speeches he gave in Nigeria, said company and administration officials to the Washington Post.
This revelation came while the Obama administration seeks to further isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran through economic sanctions designed to stymie its nuclear weaponization program. According to the Washington Free Beacon, Obama's lobbyists have called on Congressional Democrats to resist any measure to ban telecommunications firms like MTN from doing business with Iran.
Kristen Kukowski of the Republican National Committee said in response, “David Plouffe may be the biggest loophole in the international community’s sanctions against Iran.” There is currently a lawsuit pending against MTN that accuses the company of illegal arms trafficking illegal arms to Iran, as well as bribery of Iranian officials, declared the Washington Free Beacon. “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 Washington Free Beacon.