Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Israel is Nuts for Iran

Israel is nuts for pistachios from Iran, that is. (And, if you've ever had Iranian pistachios, you wouldn't blame them...they're absolutely the best in the world.) On June 5, 2008, U.Ss Ambassador to Israel Richard H. Jones wrote a severe letter to Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On, with copies sent to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and two of his ministers accusing Israel of secretly trading with Iran and transferring foreign currency to the country, which is a direct violation of an Israeli law prohibiting trade with enemy states. In his letter, Jones accused Israel of buying Iranian pistachios under the guise of trade with Turkey, even though the U.S. has previously objected.

According to the letter: “Israel is the world’s largest per capita consumer of pistachio nuts and therefore an important market – estimated at $20 million – for pistachio producers. Of the two largest producers of pistachios – the Unites States and Iran – only the US has duty free access to the Israeli market under our Free Trade Agreement…while Iran’s product is banned by Israel’s Trading with the Enemy Act. Evidence strongly suggests that most, if not all, of the pistachios entering Israel are actually of Iranian origin.”

YNET news took the issue one step further arguing, “Every pistachio nut brings Iran another step closer to achieving nuclear capability, and though the US ambassador has placed responsibility for the fiasco primarily on the government’s shoulders, the pistachio crisis may require Israeli citizens to be more discerning in their eating habits.”

No comments: