From Fox News
A former top Clinton administration diplomat who used his political sway to garner support for the Iran nuclear deal apparently was being bankrolled the entire time by Boeing — which is set to make billions off a jet deal with Tehran now that sanctions have been lifted.
Thomas Pickering, who also served as co-chairman of the board examining the Benghazi attack response, publicly pushed for the nuclear deal before its approval last year. He did so by penning op-eds, writing to high-level officials and even testifying before Congress.
With the deal in place, Boeing has since moved forward on a $25 billion deal with Iran Air made possible by the nuclear agreement.
While Pickering never denied being on Boeing’s payroll during the talks, he didn’t regularly disclose it either, according to a new report in The Daily Beast. And that’s the problem, transparency advocates say.
“In Pickering’s case, he has a direct connection to Boeing, which I think should be disclosed,” Neil Gordon, an investigator for the Project on Government Oversight, told The Daily Beast. “I think it’s necessary for the public debate. It’s necessary for the public to fully realize the participants’ financial interests. Some of them might have a direct financial stake in a particular outcome.”
Pickering was a former top State Department official in the Bill Clinton administration, and before that ambassador to Russia. He also served as ambassador to the United Nations, Israel and elsewhere in prior administrations.
When Pickering testified before the House Armed Services Committee on June 16, 2014, the biography provided to committee members touted his military and government services but did not list his business ties.
Pickering also sent a July 7, 2015 letter to lawmakers urging them to back the nuclear deal but reportedly did not make his association with Boeing known. The letter was cited by the media, lawmakers and the White House in the push to sell the nuclear deal to the public.
In op-eds for The Washington Post and Tablet, he also made the case for the deal but again did not disclose his ties.
He confirmed to The Daily Beast that he was a Boeing employee from 2001 to 2006 (which was more widely known) and later worked as a “direct consultant” from 2006 to 2015.
Earlier this month, Boeing reached a tentative agreement to sell passenger planes to Iran’s state-run carrier, Iran Air. The deal is the first major business venture after sanctions were eased against Tehran last year and is seen by many as a groundbreaking test for other American companies looking to profit from Iran’s untapped economy.
The deal is still in its early stage and will likely face scrutiny from U.S. trade regulators and lawmakers.
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