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Opposition Accused Of Being “Economic Terrorists” Allegedly Trying to Destroy The Country’s Economic Citizenship Programme

Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  The Denzil Douglas-led government came out swinging in parliament Tuesday in defense of the Federation’s Citizenship by Investment programme (CIP).

Describing the CIP as a global brand being emulated by others, Prime Minister Douglas charged that the Parliamentary Opposition was attempting to detail the programme.

Team Unity Leader Dr. Timothy Harris has been suggesting that a government decision in July to exclude Iranians and Afghans from the Economic Citizenship Programme was prompted by Canadian concerns over an Iranian national entering Canada on a St Kitts and Nevis diplomatic passport.

Alizeera Moghadam is quoted as having told Canadian authorities that he paid one million dollars for the passport.

According to Dr. Harris, the Canadians expressed security concerns, causing the authorities in Basseterre to voice privately, the fear that the visa-free travel afforded by Canada to nationals of St Kitts and Nevis could be in jeopardy.

Prime Minister Douglas has in response, accused his former Senior Minister, Dr. Harris, of attempting to destroy the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

“This is Mr. Speaker, the continuing attempts by the opposition, performing as expected, their role as economic terrorists, economic terrorists, trying to disrupt and destroy the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, the country of St. Kitts and Nevis. Trying to destroy the Investment by Citizenship Programme,” Dr. Douglas told Parliament on Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Patrice Nisbett had earlier explained to the House, the relationship between Moghadam and the government.

He revealed that the government in January 2013 approved the appointment of Iranian Alizeera Moghadam as a special envoy after he had acquired citizenship under the Citizenship Investment programme of St Kitts and Nevis.

Patrice NisbettNisbett said Moghadam had been “issued with a diplomatic passport”.

He was expected, the minister explained, to “explore areas of interest to the Federation” in two countries including Turkey.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also indicated that Canadian authorities had sought “to confirm his role” when Moghadam travelled to the North American country with the diplomatic passport.

However Dr. Harris, speaking on WINN FM Tuesday, said both Prime Minister Douglas and Minister Nisbett failed to answer the question in relation to the Moghadam issue.

“Did Mr. Moghadam pay for a passport of St Kitts and Nevis?  Is it true or is it not true that he said to the border officials in Canada that he paid one million dollars for the passport,” the Team Unity Leader queried.

According to Dr. Harris, this raises the question “of how diplomatic passports in particular are being issued by the government of St Kitts and Nevis.”

While addressing parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Nisbett indicated that the CIP was being further tightened to ensure that it addresses security concerns, including noting place or birth on passports, a provision which was removed earlier this year.

Prime Minister Douglas says he has recently been promoting the Citizenship by Investment programme in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

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