Cyrus Hashemi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cyrus Hashemi
Died21 July 1986
OccupationArms dealer
Known forLinked to the Iran-Contra affair and October Surprise conspiracy theory

Cyrus Hashemi (also spelled Hashimi; c.1942 – 21 July 1986[citation needed]) was an Iranian arms dealer linked to the Iran-Contra affair and October Surprise conspiracy theory.[1][2] Hashemi was named by Robert Dreyfuss as a CIA and Mossad agent; Hashemi sued Dreyfuss and Lyndon LaRouche, whose Executive Intelligence Review had linked Hashemi to funding of Iranian terrorism,[3] with the case dismissed in June 1983 due to Hashemi's failure to respond to legal documents.[4][5] Hashemi died in 1986 in London in mysterious circumstances; the official cause of death was "a rare and virulent form of leukemia that was diagnosed only two days before Hashemi died."[6]


Hashemi and his brother Jamshid Hashemi were persecuted by the Shah's SAVAK during the 1963 White Revolution, and left Iran as a result. The Hashemis had connections with Ahmed Madani, who was exiled in 1970 and went on to become Defense Minister after the 1979 Revolution.[7]

The Hashemis supported the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and Jamshid was appointed to oversee the national radio network, where he worked with Mehdi Karroubi's brother Hassan.[citation needed] Hashemi said he was a cousin to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an aide of the Ayatollah Khomeini who was elected Speaker of the Iranian Parliament in 1980.[6]

Iran hostage crisis[edit]

From November 1980 to January 1981 wiretaps were placed in the New York offices of the First Gulf Bank and Trust Company, of which Hashemi was the head.[8] The bank had handled clandestine money transfers for the Iranian government, with Admiral Ahmad Madani, then the Defense Minister, ordering $30–$35m transferred to an account there in late 1979.[citation needed]

A 1992 Senate investigation concluded that Hashemi was involved in a 1980 CIA attempt to funnel $500,000 to the campaign of Iranian presidential candidate Ahmad Madani, ahead of the Iranian presidential election, 1980. Charles Cogan met with Hashemi and his brother Jamshid in New York on 5 January, and in the context of the Iran hostage crisis the Hashemis "promised to put U.S. officials in touch with top officials in the Tehran government, including a family member of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini", but asked for financial support for Madani. The CIA provided $500,000 in cash on 17 January, which was rejected in favour of a wire transfer via Switzerland. Hashemi later returned $290,000 to Cogan, via the office of John Stanley Pottinger, after Cogan had determined that less than $100,000 had been spent for its intended purpose.[9] Madani later testified to the House October Surprise Task Force that he had told off Hashemi for attempting to collaborate with the Republicans behind Carter's back; he said Hashemi had offered to bring Casey to a meeting to discuss a hostage deal.[citation needed]


According to the Los Angeles Times, by the mid-1980s Hashemi, although maintaining an appearance of wealth (such as commuting to his London office in a gold-trimmed Rolls-Royce) was facing bankruptcy, in part due to major gambling losses sustained in London casinos.[10]

In mid-1985 Hashemi was partnered with Adnan Khashoggi in "World Trade Group", "a joint venture ... that was seeking to trade farm equipment, oil and military weapons with Iran."[11] Roy Furmark was also involved.[12]

In June 1985 Hashemi approached William Casey with a new arms-for-hostages plan.[6] The Los Angeles Times reported in 1988 that "according to newly declassified CIA and State Department memos, Hashemi approached then-CIA Director William J. Casey with an arms-for-hostages plan of his own that was strikingly similar to the one that would soon be embraced by the White House as its secret Iran arms initiative."[13] According to one source, Hashemi's lawyer in this proposal was John Stanley Pottinger.[14] A June 1985 CIA memo documented a call regarding a potential arms-for-hostages deal from Hashemi to Shaheen. The Times said in 1988 it had discovered that Hashemi was meeting with Adnan Khashoggi and Manucher Ghorbanifar, and that Hashemi's efforts to arrange a deal collapsed in August 1985 due to Kashoggi's competing efforts to arrange US access to Ghorbanifar via Robert McFarlane.[13]

Brokers of Death arms case[edit]

In 1986 Hashemi acted as a government informant in a four-month sting operation for the US Customs Service,[15] resulting in the Brokers of Death arms case, which the Los Angeles Times described in 1988 as "the largest arms conspiracy prosecution ever brought by the Justice Department".[13] Hashemi had agreed to act as an informant in exchange for the dropping of arms smuggling charges against him.[13]


  1. ^ Los Angeles Times, 7 March 1987, 1986 Death of Iranian Informant in Arms Plot Prosecution Studied
  2. ^ Joseph J. Trento, Prelude to Terror: Edwin P. Wilson and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network (Carroll and Graf, 2005), 202–04.
  3. ^ Edward Spannaus, 16 March 1982, The real story of Cyrus Hashemi, Executive Intelligence Review 9(10)
  4. ^ "plaintiff's failures regarding discovery responsibilities have made a factual determination of the merits of the claims presented impossible... Given the culpability and bad faith exhibited by plaintiff as well as sound judicial policy, this action is hereby DISMISSED." - HASHEMI v. CAMPAIGNER PUBLICATIONS, INC.Civ. A. No. C80-1555A. 572 F.Supp. 331 (1983), United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division. 1 July 1983
  5. ^ A counter-suit by EIR alleging misconduct by Hashemi's attorney was rejected in 1986. HASHEMI v. CAMPAIGNER PUBLICATIONS, INC.No. 85-8550. 784 F.2d 1581 (1986), United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. 26 March 1986
  6. ^ a b c Los Angeles Times, 13 June 1987, Panels Probing Mysterious Death of Iran Affair Figure
  7. ^ Joseph and Susan Trento, Public Education Center, 1 August 2009, The United States and Iran: The Secret History Part IV: Failure and Fate: A Failed Rescue and Iranian Double Dealing
  8. ^ Selwyn Raab, New York Times, 3 June 1984, U.S. ARMS-SMUGGLING INQUIRY FOCUSES ON IRANIANS
  9. ^ Jim Drinkard, Associated Press, 24 November 1992, Probe of 1980 GOP Hostage Dealings Reveals Covert CIA Operation
  10. ^ Los Angeles Times, 28 December 1986, The Iran Deception : REAGAN'S GREATEST CRISIS : CHAPTER 3 : Enough to Make a Middleman Smile
  11. ^ William C. Rempel and Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, 20 December 1986, Larger Israeli Role in Arms Shipments Told : Top Aide to Peres Tried to Help Two Weapons Dealers Get $15 Million in Financing, Sources Say
  12. ^ James Traub, New York, 8 February 1987, The Katzenjammer Falcon
  13. ^ a b c d Los Angeles Times, 4 August 1988, Iran Arms Dealers May Use Secret CIA Links as Defense
  14. ^ George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography --- by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin
  15. ^