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Columbia University Photo: AP
Columbia University Photo: AP

Report: Iranian fund donates to US universities

New York Post reports Islamic charity Alavi, suspected to work for Iranian regime, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to various departments in Columbia, Rutgers universities to employ pro-Iranian professors

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 11.23.09, 08:25 / Israel News

WASHINGTON - Anti-Israel and pro-Iranian lecturers receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from an Islamic charity operating in New York believes to be an illegal front for the Iranian regime, the New York Post reported on Monday.


According to the report, the Alavi Foundation transferred hundreds of thousands dollars to the Middle Eastern and Persian studies programs of Columbia University in Manhattan and Rutgers University in New Jersey which employ professors sympathetic to the Iranian regime.


In one of the donations, $100,000 was transferred to Columbia University, which hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2007.


Columbia spokesman Robert Hornsby said the school was surprised the foundation had direct ties to the Iranian government.


The report also stated that between the years 2005 and 2007, the foundation donated over $250,000 to Rutgers University's Middle Eastern studies department headed by Hooshang Amirahmadi.


Amirahmadi, who also heads the American Iranian Council, views Hezbollah and Hamas as legitimate organizations and not terrorist groups.


In recent weeks, the American authorities raided institutions owned by the Alavi Foundation in New York, Maryland and California. In addition, authorities filed a request for the foreclosure of the fund's assets following suspicions of money laundering carried out by the fund for the Iranian regime.


If the foreclosure is executed, it will be considered the largest in American history, and will include the bank accounts of Islamic centers including schools and mosques throughout the United States.


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