Watchdog: FBI, Pentagon investigating military contractor for ties to Iran

A government watchdog says a Kuwaiti shipping and logistics company that’s received $1 billion in military contracts from the Pentagon is being investigated by the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) for alleged violations of the Iran Sanctions Act.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) report found that military contractor Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport, or KGL, is under investigation for business ties to Iranian shipping companies.

Documents have been sent to members of Congress that alleged ties between KGL and Iranian shippers, which KGL has denied. Sens. Mark KirkMark KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (R-Ill.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezCongress must provide flexible funding for owners of repeatedly flooded properties Senate ethics panel resumes Menendez probe after judge declares mistrial Judge declares mistrial in Menendez bribery case MORE (D-N.J.), authors of the latest U.S. sanctions against Iran, have asked for investigations into the military contractor's ties.

Several other members have also questioned the Pentagon about KGL’s ties to Iran.

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter sent a letter to Kirk last year on KGL that said the Pentagon had found no violation of U.S. law, according to POGO’s report.

But Menendez followed up last week with a letter to the Treasury Department, which asked it to investigate, and said that the FBI and DCIS, the Pentagon Inspector General’s investigative branch, might be “actively investigating these allegations.”

POGO said it has evidence to verify the federal KGL investigation, and spoke to a witness in the case who said: “The investigators are very clearly looking for evidence that any U.S. [military contract] money went to Iran.”

KGL has denied any illicit ties to Iranian entities banned under the sanctions act, and says that documents given to Congress alleging the connection were forged.

Sanctions against Iran have intensified in recent months, as tensions have increased between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program. President Obama has said that sanctions are needed to persuade Iran to drop its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Tehran is expected to meet with six nations for nuclear negotiations later this month.