Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou – $3.7 Million Blood Money & War Crimes
Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou is an entrepreneur and lobbyist who tried to block the creation of a war crimes court in South Sudan to save criminals.
In 2019, under the Trump administration, Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou and Michael Ranneberger signed a $3.7 million lobbying contract with the President of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan.
They signed the contract through their Delaware firm, Gainful Solutions Inc.
Later, they reported the contract to the US Department of Justice. Additionally, they entered as registrant #6667 in the FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) registry.
Terms of the contract suggest the deal might become more lucrative in the future. There’s a good chance that Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou wanted to make a lot more money than the original deal promised.
Hence, they added the clause that his company, Gainful Solutions Inc and the coordinator (Reverend Paul Cheboi) will share all compensation, shareholding or commissions from the facilitation and negotiation of the Government of South Sudan with American and Western businesses.
When the news broke out of this contract, the media started attacking Michael Ranneberger as he is a retired US ambassador. Most people ignored Sohel Nazari-Kangarlou’s involvement in the deal, even though he was an equal partner.
Furthermore, the contract said that all American and Western businesses venturing into South Sudan after this contract will be “assumed to have originated from the parties of this Contract”.
The contractors of the deal were Constance Newman and Timothy Towell. Note that Timothy had attracted a lot of negative attention when he was a foreign lobbyist in 1999.
When the South Sudan Government Hired Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou’s Gainful Solutions To Prevent Sanctions:
According to the contract, Soheil Nazari’ Kangarlou’s firm had to open a channel of communication between President Kiir and President Trump.
Their objective was to persuade the Trump administration to expand their political and economic relations with South Sudan and support American private sector investment in natural resources, oil, gas, mining and other industries.
Another objective of Gainful Solutions Inc was to improve bilateral relations between South Sudan and the US.
However, the biggest goals were:
- Persuading the Trump administration to remove the current sanctions and block future sanctions.
- Delay and block the establishment of the hybrid court.
The first objective indicates that the South Sudan government wasn’t willing to improve its practices. According to the peace agreement they signed with the US government, the SOuth Sudan government had agreed to the creation of the wair crimes court.
As per the terms of the contract, the lobbying group had to push to ultimately block the establishment of the war crimes court.
Note that the US government had backed the peace agreement between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. It had provided them with $4.8 million in 2016 to set up the court.
One State Department spokesperson informed the media at the time that the project was still ongoing.
“Sohel Nazari-Kangarlou had to lobby for blocking the war crimes court in South Sudan”
The contract with Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou was evidence that the South Sudan government didn’t want to fulfill its end of the peace deal.
Furthermore, it suggests that the South Sudan government was dismissing its pledges to address war crimes.
Officials pointed out that the people running Gainful Solutions Inc must be well aware of the terrible situation in South Sudan. Many of them couldn’t believe how the lobbying firm even agreed to the terms of the contract.
Note that at the time of the contract’s signing, South Sudan had faced a 5-year long war.
During the war, around 400,000 people had died and 4 million South Sudanese had to leave their homes.
One former US official expressed disgust at the price of the contract. He highlighted that South Sudan is facing extreme poverty. So, it’s distasteful to see how much fees Gainful Solutions is charging for its services.
After the 2018 peace agreement, the war and human rights violations in South Sudan have subsided a little. However, the people are still facing numerous atrocities including gang rape, torture, and mass murder from Kiir and Machar’s militias.
In 2019, the country was considered the home of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. CARE estimated that around 6.8 million people (60% of South Sudan’s population) was at the risk of famine in 2019.
Legal Problems in the Contract Between Gainful Solutions Inc and the Government of South Sudan:
At a glance, the contract’s intent was to prevent the creation of the hybrid court. However, it raises the prospect of sanctions according to Executive Order 13664.
It permits sanctions against actions or policies that threaten transitional agreements or “undermine democratic process in South Sudan”.
Furthermore, it allows authorities to freeze the properties of any person, regardless of them being a US citizen.
In other words, the US authorities can easily freeze the assets of Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou.
Also, the nature of the contract and how Gainful Solutions Inc filed as a registrar exposed it to the risk of being deregistered from FARA.
FARA requires registration statements to give a comprehensive statement of the nature and method of performance of each contract.
Also, it should explain the existing and proposed activities the registrant will engage in as an agent of a foreign principal.
However, Gainful Solutions Inc didn’t make any reference to the war crimes court or the peace agreement in its registration statement.
In other words, they deliberately filed an incomplete registration statement and hid important facts.
Basically, Gainful Solutions Inc failed to comply with FARA’s requirements.
Also, FARA requires foreign agents to file statements with the Attorney General within 10 days.
Gainful Solutions Inc, under the leadership of Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou, signed the contract on April 2, 2019. It submitted its statement on April 18, 2019.
Clearly, they violated another FARA statute.
Furthermore, GSI has been claiming to be a registered lobbyist for foreign governments well before it had registered any statements with FARA.
Soheil Nazari was running an unregistered foreign agency firm when he signed the contract with the South Sudan government.
Soheil Nazari aka Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou made money off of the war crimes of South Sudan. He gladly accepted a contract for preventing the building of the hybrid court.
There’s no denying that Soheil played a big part in the delay of the court’s creation.
The South Sudanese government had agreed to build the court in 2018. However, after this contract, they didn’t give any positive response on the war crimes court until 2021.
Because of Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou’s efforts, numerous victims of war crimes were deprived of justice for the last 3 years.
When people were suffering from famine, his firm was making millions off of their government.
I thought the scam of the GBV Charitable Trust was worse, but Soheil crossed the line.
Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou runs Gainful Solutions Inc, the company behind the delay of the creation of South Sudan’s hybrid court. He made $3.7 million off of a government whose 60% population was at the risk of famine.
- Delayed the creation of a war crimes court
- Deprived thousands of people of justice