UN agency slammed after refusing US request for probe into Iran, N. Korea shipments
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A United Nations agency under fire for shipments of computers and other sophisticated equipment to North Korea and Iran has apparently rejected a request by the U.S. State Department to conduct an independent probe into the controversy, drawing a pointed bipartisan rebuke from top lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
In a letter being released Tuesday, the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee complained to World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry about his agency's refusal to cooperate. They accused the agency of locking down key documents while trying to root out the whistle-blowers who alerted others to the scandal -- and then rebuffing the State Department's request for an outside investigation.
"We are outraged by your recent refusal on the basis of 'confidentiality,' of a request by the U.S. Department of State to conduct an independent, external investigation into how and why these transactions happened," wrote Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairwoman and ranking member of the committee, respectively. "There is no rational basis for this refusal. ... On the face of it, the documentary record, coupled with your public statements, shows a shocking and intolerable lack of judgment, together with an inclination to disregard the legitimate concerns of Member States and to retaliate against staff who are simply trying to tell the truth.
"However, if you truly believe that your actions have been entirely proper, then surely you would have nothing to hide and no reason to block the requested independent investigation," they wrote.
The lawmakers continued to call for an independent probe. And they described an agency pledge to have future shipments to Iran and North Korea reviewed by the U.N. Sanctions Committee "not sufficient."
Read full story on Fox News : http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/17/un-agency-slammed-after-refusing-us-request-for-probe-into-iran-n-korea/#ixzz20tGTGN7M