File photo of an SVG passport.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC — The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government Wednesday denied a statement by the United States Department of Treasury that a former Iranian national whose activities are being closely monitored had acquired local citizenship.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told a news conference that Minister of Foreign Affairs Sen. Camillo Gonsalves “has been advised by me to inform the US State and Treasury Departments of these facts”.

He told reporters that “the records of the citizenship and residency department of the Office of the Prime Minister showed there are four Iranians by birth who are granted citizenship of St. Vincent and the Grenadines” during the period 1997-1998.

He said the citizenship granted in 1997 was to the 10-year-old son of a medical practitioner and his wife born in Bangladesh.

Gonsalves said that the medical doctor was employed at the hospital here and that the son is now a medical doctor now residing overseas while the other three “Vincentians of Iranian birth” are a 47 year-old barber, a 43-year-old mother and a 20 year-old son.

“Each of these four applications for citizenship of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was supported by references from reputable professionals in this country. Of these four Iranian-born citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, (the) one (who) is a medical practitioner … is the only one of the four who currently has a valid passport of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)

Earlier this week, the Treasury Department said that Hossein Zeidi, 49, is among nine individuals and entities under various Iran-related authorities under surveillance for their “support of Iranian government sanctions evasion efforts and human rights-related abusers, including those engaged in censorship”.

It said that Zeidi holds a St. Kitts and Nevis passport, number RE0003553 as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines citizenship and he carries the alias Hosein Zeidi and Hossein Mansour Zeidi. He has a United Arab Emirates (UAE) national identification number 444169.

The US Treasury Department gave no details as to how Zeidi had in his possession a St. Kitts-Nevis passport, but the twin island Federation provides citizenship to foreigners who provide significant investments to the island.

The Treasury Department said Zeidi was “responsible for converting foreign currency into US bank notes.

“The Iranian government contracted with Zeidi and Seyed Kamal Yasini to convert Iranian funds denominated in non-Iranian local currency into US dollars,” the Treasury Department said.

“To date, these individuals and their network have effected the delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars in US dollar bank notes to the Iranian government in violation of E.O. 13622,” it added.

But Prime Minister Gonsalves insisted that “none of these four Iranian-born citizens is the person who is referred to in a US Treasury Department bulletin as Hossein Zeidi otherwise known as Hossein Mansour Zeidi.

“None of them is this individual who it is alleged in the Treasury bulletin … to be an Iranian by birth, or who is an Iranian citizen and who holds citizenship from St. Kitts including a passport from St. Kitts which they have listed and the allegation that he is also a citizenship of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

Gonsalves said “our citizenship and passport record and data bases reveal that the allegation that he is a citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is incorrect. He is also not a holder of a passport of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

Gonsalves said the alleged date of birth of Zeidi is Sept. 11, 1965 noting “this date of birth does not correspond to any of the dates of birth of the four Iranian born citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

“The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines wishes to make it clear that it does not and cannot discriminate against any person in relation to the grant or withholding of citizenship of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the basis of nationality or place of origin.

“The universally acknowledged qualifications for citizenship are present in our laws and are laid out in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Citizenship Act,” Gonsalves said.

He said that unlike St. Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean countries, his country “does not grant economic citizenship by whatever name it is called”.

He said the former government had instituted an honorary citizenship programme and “as everyone knows very early in the life of our administration, the law in relation to this programme was repealed and the programme of honorary or economic citizenship was discontinued”.

12 replies on “Gonsalves denies Iranian being monitored by US has Vincentian citizenship”

  1. ALL Vincentians need to be fully aware that the article stating that an Iranian is in possession of a Vincentian Passport is a complete hoax . That Article without the Vincentian Passport , was
    in THE JAMAICAN OBSERVER ; DATED 5TH. JANUARY 2015and .

    I invite all Readers of this Online Paper , I-Witness News , to Google Caribbean Newspapers com . and in the News Section for the 5th. January 2015 the article is there , however the
    article is about an Iranian who has a St. Kitts / Nevis Passport , and is being monitored by the
    USA Government . There is no picture of a Vincentian Passport , nor any mention of an Iranian being in possession of a St. Vincent & the Grenadines Passport .

    The Government of St. Vincent must take this very seriously and leave no stone unturned ;
    to find the person or persons who manufactured this false & scurrilous Article .

    Veridical

  2. I am hereby challenging the Editor & Moderators , to go to the JAMAICA OBSERVER dated
    5th. January 2015 , and see for themselves that Poster PETER , HAS DELIBERATELY
    MANUFACTURED A FICTITIOUS STORY .

    I further request that in this Newspaper they publish their findings . Now failure to do this will
    inform me that they are in collusion with Poster Peter . Let us all know where the truth is .

    Veridical

  3. To the Editor & Moderators of this Website ,

    You have had enough time to checkout Peter’s fictitious story , and print a retraction . I am still waiting . Your Credibility is on the Line , regarding this matter .

    Veridical

  4. Why is it taking so long to for the Moderator to post my responses , each of them are not a page
    long .

    Veridical

  5. With all due respect , I am beginning to think that you are waiting to put Peter’s responses before mine .

    Veridical

  6. Editor & Moderator ,

    My comments regarding this matter started at 1.30 pm Today January 7th . 2015 , and yet
    NONE of my Comments have been moderated . I would like to know what is the problem
    that prevents them from being moderated in a timely manner ???

    Veridical

  7. Editor , Moderators ,

    THE ARTICLE IN QUESTION CAN CURRENTLY BE FOUND IN THE NEWS SECTION OF

    THE JAMAICA OBSERVER ON PAGE 12 . I have decided to do your Homework for You .

    Obviously you are tardy in looking at it ; possibly at the end of today it may be between
    Pages 13 – 17 . Tomorrow

    Regards ,

    Veridical

  8. I expect a definitive answer from the Editor & the Moderators regarding the authenticity of the
    Picture of a St. Vincent & the Grenadines Passport , affixed to an article purporting to be of an Iranian citizen who possesses a Vincentian Passport .

    As I have stated in my comments , THE AUTHOR OF THAT ARTICLE COPIED AN ARTICLE

    THAT APPEARED IN THE JAMAICA OBSERVER ON THE 5TH. OF JANUARY 2015 , AND

    TOOK A PICTURE OF A SVG PASSPORT TO MAKE IT APPEAR THAT THIS MATTER

    HAPPENED IN ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES , WHEN THE TRUTH IS THAT IT

    HAPPENED IN ST. KITTS / NEVIS .

    You Sir , & your Moderators owe the People of St. Vincent & the Grenadines an Apology ; for
    wittingly or unwittingly allowing yourselves to be hoodwinked by someone bent on Political
    mischief .

    BTW , it seems that Poster PETER , has come down with a sudden bout of WRITERS CRAMP . As I have stated he can find the correct article in the Jamaica Observer in the NEWS SECTION ; BETWEEN PAGES 12 – 25 , All he has to do , is look for pages marked
    January 5 th . 2015 . I can assure him that it is there .

    Regards ,

    Veridical

  9. I am still waiting to hear from PETER , I am deafened by his silence . He talked about not
    finding the article in the JAMAICAN OBSERVER . Well yesterday I gave all & sundry the page
    that the article is on in the NEWS SECTION . Obviously as the days go by ; the article is going to be put further back in the archives of the Jamaica Observer . It was only by chance that I read about this Article , befire seeing the same article in this Newspaper with a Photo of
    the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Passport .

    I still maintain that the Editor & Moderators of this Online Newspaper must come clean , Apologise to its Readers ; and ensure that this does not happen again , Frankly Posters who
    indulge in this behaviour must be banned forever ; if the goal is to make this Newspaper have
    Credibility & Authenticity .

    Regards ,

    Veridical .

  10. To ALL & Sundry , I have not banned Peter and those of his Ilk from coming here and try refuting what I have stated , To use a military terminology , they are missing in Action . I have gone to the Original Headline of this Issue regarding An Iranian having a Vincentian Passport that has no number , and defanged their Cut & Paste Fraud . But like Rats they have gone into hiding .

    ALL PETER & CO , NEED TO DO IS TO GIVE US THE ST.VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

    PASSPORT NUMBER THAT THE IRANIAN HAS IN HIS POSSESSION . THE US

    GOVERNMENT RELEASED THE ST. kITTS & NEVIS PASSPORT NUMBER .

    OBVIOUSLY IF THE US GOVERNMENT HAD THE ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

    NUMBER IT WOULD ALSO HAVE RELEASED IT . NOW IF PETER & CO

  11. To ALL & Sundry , I have not banned Peter and those of his Ilk from coming here and try refuting what I have stated , To use a military terminology , they are missing in Action . I have gone to the Original Headline of this Issue regarding An Iranian having a Vincentian Passport that has no number , and defanged their Cut & Paste Fraud . But like Rats they have gone into hiding .

    ALL PETER & CO , NEED TO DO IS TO GIVE US THE ST.VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

    PASSPORT NUMBER THAT THE IRANIAN HAS IN HIS POSSESSION . THE US

    GOVERNMENT RELEASED THE ST. kITTS & NEVIS PASSPORT NUMBER .

    OBVIOUSLY IF THE US GOVERNMENT HAD THE ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

    NUMBER IT WOULD ALSO HAVE RELEASED IT . IF PETER & CO ARE IN POSSESSION

    OF THE SVG PASSPORT NUMBER THEY MUST IN THIS NEWSPAPER TELL US THE

    PASSPORT NUMBER .

    In fact the Editor of this Newspaper needs to demand that Peter & publish the SVG Passport number . I seriously doubt that they can do that , But Hell , I would like them to try .

    Veridical

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