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Kosovo Authorities Charge Iranian NGO Leader With 'Financing Terrorism'

Authorities in Kosovo said on July 25 that they have charged an Iranian man with “financing terrorism and money laundering” through a nongovernmental group he operates called the Qur’an Foundation of Kosova.

The allegations against Hasan Azari Bejandi include charges that he laundered nearly $1 million in undeclared cash between 2014 and 2015.

Bejandi also oversees the activities of four other Shi’ite religious organizations suspected of having links to Tehran.

The operations of the groups also have been suspended as a result of the investigation.

Kosovo’s Express newspaper reports that the nongovernmental organizations have been spreading anti-Western and anti-Semitic propaganda.

That newspaper also has reported that “ideological agents” of the Iranian government have become active in Kosovo through the Qur’an Foundation of Kosova -- which is affiliated with an organization in Albania that uses the same name.

The group has claimed that its goals are to establish a museum of Iranian culture in Kosovo and endow a chair of Iranian studies at the University of Pristina.

Based on reporting by AFP and Express