Ex-parliament speaker Rahmani denies U.S. corruption accusations, calls sanctions ‘baseless’

In response to the recent sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department, Mir Rahman Rahmani, the former parliament speaker of Afghanistan, refuted accusations of financial corruption leveled against him and his son, Ajmal Rahmani, in a statement released on Tuesday.

Rahmani dismissed the allegations as being “against international standards, principles, and conventions concluded between the member states of the United Nations”.

He asserted that detailed financial reports for all contracts implicated in the accusations are available and will be provided to relevant authorities as needed.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control placed sanctions on Rahmani and his son, along with 44 associated entities, citing corruption charges. The action falls under Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, an extension of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, specifically targeting individuals involved in serious human rights abuses and corruption worldwide.

According to the Treasury Department, the Rahmanis, operating through their Afghan companies, orchestrated a complex procurement corruption scheme that resulted in the misappropriation of millions of dollars from contracts funded by the U.S. Government, intended to support Afghan security forces.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson emphasized the commitment to holding accountable those exploiting their privileged positions for personal gain. Nelson stated, “Today’s designations underscore Treasury’s commitment to holding accountable those who seek to exploit their privileged positions for personal benefit. Treasury will continue to utilize our tools to promote accountability, including by disrupting the networks that enable corrupt activities.”

Simultaneously, the Department of State invoked Section 7031(c) of the annual Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act. This section allows for the designation of individuals and their immediate family members involved in significant corruption as public officials.

According to Section 7031, officials of foreign governments and their immediate family members become ineligible for entry into the United States when credible information indicates direct or indirect involvement in significant corruption and/or gross violations of human rights.