For months, people have asked “What are you actually doing in Malta?” For months, I incessantly maintained my cover story of being a student and a tourist. At least it was a more comfortable cover story than others I had used on previous assignments.
But now, as my job here is coming to an end, I can reveal the real reason behind this stranger’s presence on this island. I am also able to do so and to lay open the results of my clandestine investigation because part of these results have already been made public.
The press has reported today that Iranian shipping companies based in Malta used these ships to circumvent sanctions against Iran and lately also Syria. The Islamic Republic of Iran uses Malta as one of the prime places for its shell companies with the aim of hiding its activities. It has to be said unfortunately that Malta was less than cooperative in these investigations. Business and profit seemed to trump laws and human rights.
In addition to this exhausting investigation, which led me from the offices of notaries in Valletta to the hull of ships anchoring in Marsaxlokk Bay, I have single-handedly uncovered another example of Maltese companies defying the sanctions against Iran:
On a side note, I wonder if the Iranian producer is aware that “Goldstar” is the brand of a well-known beer from Israel.
On a second side note, the product description “Whilst every effort has been made to remove the stones, complete removal cannot be guaranteed” also describes how Iran deals with the opposition and human rights movements.
To the few of you who always suspected me of being a spy: Hats off! Stay tuned to find out about my next assignment.