A conservative bank in Utah has been put in the embarrassing position of trying to explain why its jet was sitting at Iran’s Mehrabad Airport.
The United States has restricted business dealings with the Ayatollah Khamanei government.
“We have no idea why that plane was at that airport,” Bank of Utah executive Brett King told The New York Times while invoking fiduciary confidentiality in refusing to reveal the jet’s ownership.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City with 13 in-state branches, the community bank may seem decidedly unattached to Iran. But research by The Times revealed that the Bank of Utah also acts as trustee for more than 1,000 private planes, the most in the nation.
Spotted by an eagle-eyed Times reporter because of the American flag on its tail the plane was also seen in Zurich, Switzerland, at the time of the Davos World Economic Forum. Iran has refused to disclose any of the names on its passenger list The Times reported:
“Even some former federal officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the very presence of an American-flagged aircraft parked in broad daylight suggested its flight had been approved as part of a legitimate business trip. What is more, they said, the easily identifiable plane was not likely to be part of a covert diplomatic mission.
The secrecy surrounding the plane is compounded by federal aviation regulations that can make it virtually impossible to determine who was flying it.”
“If there is any hint of illegal activity, we are going to find out and see whether we need to resign,” King said
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