Iran Ambassador Haji Farajvand cries foul over terror link

Iran Ambassador to Kenya Dr Haji Farajvand at a past event. [File, Standard]
Iran Ambassador to Kenya Dr Haji Farajvand has dismissed allegations that he was supporting terrorism activities over his role in the defense on the case of two nationals that were jailed over a terror case.

Dr Farajvand who was recently accused by section Kenya legislators of attempting to undermine justice system with intention of aiding two of his countrymen convicted of terrorism related charges said his at the embassy was to help ensure the Iranians had legal representation.

The lawmakers led by MPs Charles Kilonzo (Yatta), Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache), and Dido Ali Rasso (Saku) claimed Farajand was tactfully pushing for release of Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousa citing it as an undiplomatic move.

The allegation by the MPs is one among a few controversies that surrounds the soft spoken ambassador who now blames two rogue business people for muddying his name.

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For first time since the allegations the envoy has now linked former staff at the embassy here in Nairobi of going around in attempt to portray him in bad light.

In an interview with The Standard on Saturday, Dr Farajvand has revealed their attempts were sparked when the embassy declined to engage in shoddy deals saying his major role is to see business and trade between Kenya and Iran shoots up.

“One of them had two containers of good stuck at port and wanted clearance from the office and when it was turned down they were not happy, they are now out there and even dishing out large sums of money even to scare away investors and tarnish our office” he said.

He said the businessman had requested him to claim that the cargo held at the port in Mobasa was for the embassy so that it would be easy and cost free to gain entrance to Kenya but he refused and that is why they have resorted to mudslinging.

Before he came here, Dr Farajvand said, there was plenty of poor quality bitumen that were being sold to the Kenyan market.

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"Sixty percent of by the bitumen used in Kenya comes from Iran, i stopped the bringing in of the fake bitumen to the country and this alongside substandard good being sold claiming that it was from Iran are the borne of my woes with the rogue businessmen." said Dr Farajvand.

On the accusations of aiding terrorism, Dr Farajvand said his role was diplomatic and actions that every move that any ambassador since their countries look up to such representatives for intervention.

The two had been jailed for life by the magistrate’s court but after a spirited appeal before the High Court, the sentence was reduced to 15 years.

They were later freed after the Court of Appeal ruled that there was no sufficient evidence to link them to the bomb making material recovered in 2012.

According to the envoy, the families of the two Iranians channelled some money for legal representation through the embassy thus it was consulate’s role to pick the remaining task as expected from diplomat.

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He revealed “That is why we sought services of lawyer to represent them, I acted like any other ambassador ought to have done, it happens in other countries and no one accuse envoys; that speaks a lot and prove that someone is not happy with my work”

Under his term in Kenya which spun close to three years, the level of business between the two countries has gone up with more business fronts to be opened soon.

"There were only nine Iranian companies operating in Kenya when i came in but today we have thirty seven and still counting, in the next four years we want to have doubled the numbers," he said.

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terrorismiranian envoyiranian ambassadorhaji farajvand