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On Iran Corrupt UNESCO Meets About Culture While Embezzling in Iraq Guterres Style

By Matthew Russell Lee, Editor, Video

UN GATE, Jan 6 –  From the corrupt UN of Antonio Guterres in New York, the whole UN system has been corrupted now into, including UNESCO.

Last month Inner City Press exposed the declining influence of France at UNESCO.

The events of last week and the decision of the Iraqi parliament to bring to an end the foreign military presence in Iraq generated a great deal of panic at UNESCO. After spending efforts time and money to design and establish the perfect embezzlement scheme, the wave of recent developments is considerably massacring the plans of the French administration led by DG Audrey Azoulay in Iraq.    

On UNESCO’s web site we found today the following empty, Guterres style statement: “Paris, 06 January -- The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on Monday received Ahmad Jalali, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and discussed tensions in the Middle East with particular regard to heritage and culture”.

Then the French DG brilliantly underlined the role of normative instruments in preventing wars (sic!) and stressed “the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples…”. Surely Guterres will get jealous of the level of emptiness of her hackneyed statement. 

What is NOT on UNESCO’s website though, are the dramatic consequences for the embezzlement scheme crafted by DG Azoulay and her Director of Cabinet, Nicolas Kassianides that was brought to public exposure in July 2019 by Inner City Press.  Now, again, the wind of panic in the Cabinet of Azoulay is blowing across UNESCO.  Almost two years of relentless efforts are flushed down the toilet. In February 2018, only few months after the election of the French Director General Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO launched in Iraq the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative ostensibly to participate in the reconstruction of this city, after years of war and destruction. 

This seemingly noble initiative was in fact a cover up operation of reinforcing French influence in Iraq in order to secure markets and work for French companies. Inner City Press, before being roughed up and banned by Antonio Guterres, can trace this all the way back to France's abstention for BNP Paribas on Iraq Oil for Food.  UNESCO was used and abused since then in the realization of that pragmatic end. All donations received from Governments around the world are accurately planned to be channeled in due course to corporations close to the French administration.  How did that happen? This is how. Immediately after the launch of the initiative, a special team was established within UNESCO led by the Director of the Cabinet of Azoulay, Nicolas Kassianides, well know by now for his illegal housing grants exposed by Inner City Press.  Members of this restricted team are only fully loyal people to DG Azoulay such as the Assistant Director General for Culture Erneso Otone Ramirez, one of his senior Directors, Lazare Eloundou Assomo and the member of the Cabinet of Azoulay, exposed by Inner City Press as the forgetting her passport while traveling on official missions, Sunna Altnoder.  

As a next step, the Director of the UNESCO office in Baghdad, Louise Haxthausen, was removed straight away, since she was considered by Kassianides too close to the government of Iraq after her several years of experience in the country, and too independent in her dealing with issues that progressively became sensitive for French national interests.  On different occasions, the Iraqi government expressed dissatisfaction that UNESCO is focusing on the reconstruction of one city only. The response from DG Azoulay was rib-tickling; in a meeting with the highest authorities of Iraq, she simply countered their line of reasoning by pointing out that UNESCO must first do the “re-looking of Mosul”.   Why focusing on Mosul is having a plain and simple rationalization. Most of the millions received by UNESCO from the UAE are for projects to be implemented in that particular city. Actually, there are no prospects for French business elsewhere at this stage. Thus, in corrupted UNESCO, the dirt keeps on oozing this time in the context of Iraq.  

According to a member of the Cabinet of Azoulay, the transactions of UNESCO in Mosul are among the most well-kept secrets in the UNESCO House. The Cabinet member even considers that a number of parallel dealings are most probably piloted by some specialized French services. For instance, the Director of Cabinet Nicolas Kassianides went on missions that falls normally under the responsibilities of the Director General herself, or of her Assistant Director generals for culture or for external relations.  Nicolas Kassianides proves to be an expert in shady deals and this is why he is the one designated by the French DG Azoulay to meet regularly the Iraqi Ministers and other high officials   “Kassianides is clearly taking instructions elsewhere”, said our source in the Cabinet. “As a former staff of Quai d’Orsay, and being fully aware that his days in UNESCO are counted, he must keep good relations with his former administration in order to get a good position there after successfully defending the French national interest under the cover of multilateral UN work”.  

This French interests are changing the nature of the organization. Strangely enough, UNESCO member states are OK with it and take no action against that blatant usurpation of power by one country.   Even more abnormal is the continued support of the government of the UAE for the failed cause of UNESCO in Mossul. The UAE is giving millions to UNESCO with no control over the spending and even if the trust of member states in DG Azoulay and her team is getting significantly eroded, money is still flooding around.    The state of affairs at UNESCO is deteriorating more and more and as long as member states remain silent, UNESCO will be swimming in corruption before shamefully sinking.  Inner City Press will have more on that.


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