Why Does DNCC Chair Steve Israel (D-NY) Accept Campaign Donations From a Man Convicted of Selling Arms to Iran?

In politics you can tell a lot about someone by the donations they accept. As far as my Congressman (and chairman of the NDCC) Steve Israel he is accepting donations from a man convicted of illegally selling arms to Iran. His name is Parviz Lavi and According to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) has taken $6,500 from Parviz Lavi since 2006.

In 1998 Parviz Lavi was arrested by federal agents for conspiring to illegally smuggle fighter jet engines and their parts for Iran (yes the same Iran that wants to blow Israel to smithereens).

According to a March 4, 1998, Newsday article,

“The Iranian-born owner of a Hicksville firm was arrested by federal agents yesterday on charges of conspiring to illegally smuggle fighter jet engines and their parts into Iran, according to officials.

“Parviz Lavi, 62, the owner of Omega Turbine Corp., 150 Express St., had been under investigation since 1991 by customs agents in Norfolk, Va., for a scheme to smuggle at least six turbine engines for the F-14 jet fighter and thousands of engine parts, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Burton Ryan.

According to court papers, Lavi had been wiretapped since 1992 discussing various schemes to sell the F-14 engines and their parts to Iran by shipping them first to associates in Rotterdam, Holland. At one point Lavi discussed paying between $125,000 and $150,000 for six of the TF-30 jet engines, the court papers said

“The engine is used only on U.S. and Iranian F-14 fighters. The U.S. government sold 80 of the F-14s to the shah’s government before the revolution in Iran in 1979 but since then has barred the export of military equipment to Iran.”

(Source: “Man Held In Plot To Sell F-14 Parts,” Newsday, March 4, 1998)

The NY Times corroborated the Newsday story and took it even further:

According a March 5, 1998, New York Times article, “Mr. Lavi went to Norfolk several times with a shopping list of prohibited parts, officials said. Undercover agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and businessmen involved in the arms trade who were cooperating with the Government agreed to sell him what he wanted: 500 metal vanes, or blades, for the powerful TF-30 engines on the F-14’s that were made to stringent specifications by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies, in North Haven, Conn.

“The sale price was $25,000, but the authorities said the value of the parts to Iran’s military was inestimable.”

(Source: “L.I. Man Is Seized in Scheme To Smuggle Jet Parts to Iran,” The New York Times,March 5, 1998)

After being indicted later that month, Mr Lavi and some of his associates plead guilty to the charges:

According to an April 2, 1998, Virginian-Pilot article, “A former employee of the alleged mastermind of a plot to smuggle F-14 jet parts to Iran pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to helping negotiate the purchase and sale of the parts. In his plea agreement, Tony Zar agreed to testify against his old friend, Parviz Lavi – charged with heading a conspiracy to purchase and ship the American-built parts – and others allegedly involved in the scheme.

“Zar, also known as Mehrdad Zar, 38, told agents he knew of at least two shipments of jet parts sent to Iran after he began working at Lavi’s Long Island, N.Y., company, Omega Industries International, in 1992.

(Source: “One Pleads Guilty To Smuggling Jet Parts,” The Virginian-Pilot, April 2, 1998)

The mastermind behind a plot to ship F-14 jet engine parts to Iran faces up to five years in prison after admitting in federal court Monday that he conspired to violate the Arms Export Control Act. Parviz Lavi, 62, a multimillionaire from New York and a longtime arms merchant, pleaded guilty to trying to export TF-30 engine parts, designed specifically for the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, to Iran.”

(Source “Man Pleads Guilty In Plot To Send Iran U.S. Jet Parts,” The Virginian-Pilot, July 14, 1998)

Congressman Israel claims to be a huge supporter of the State of Israel and other Jewish causes. But his deeds do not back up his words. While he has signed letters with other Congressman, not once has he stood up publicly to President Obama and criticized his anti-Israel policies. In fact when the President was trying to legitimize the anti-Israel group J Street, Steve Israel obeyed orders and lent his name to the organization so they could recruit more people to its convention.

Now we learn that Congressman Israel is taking campaign donations from a man who was convicted of selling arms to a terrorist-supporting regime whose goal is to destroy the Jewish State. It’s time for Mr. Israel to get his partisan head out of his arse and decide what side he is on. Does he support terrorist states and the anti-Israel policies of Barack Obama, or does he support the right of the Jewish State of Israel to exist in peace? His words say one thing, but his actions say another.

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