Myanmar's Junta Hires Israeli Lobbyist Responsible for the Iran-Contra Scandal

Published April 5th, 2021 - 07:28 GMT
Ari Ben-Menashe
Ben-Menashe's name came to fame amid the Iran-Contra scandal in 1986. (Youtube)

As international calls against Myanmar's Tatmadaw to stop its violent crackdown against anti-coup protests that have engulfed the country over the last two months increase, news reports have exposed details of a PR deal between the country's Junta and the famous Israeli lobbyist and arms dealer Ari Ben-Menashi.

According to The Foreign Lobby Report, the $2 million deal between the Myanmar military and the Canada-based Dickens and Madson is meant to whitewash and justify the growing death toll in Myanmar following the February military coup.

The Montreal-based PR firm is owned by the Israeli contractor Ari Ben-Menashi who came to fame in the late 1980s as he exposed a US arms deal to Iran amid sanctions to UK press, in what was known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

According to several reports, the deal will enable Ben-Menashi's firm to communicate with western governments and policymakers, international organizations, and NGOs including the United Nations and African Union, in addition to governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Israel, to "explain" the military stance amid the violent coup that took place a few days before the new parliament was due to congregate for the first time.

Since then, the Junta has arrested the country's president Aung San Suu Kyi, and killed over 500 protesters as they expressed their opposition to the military coup.

Dickens and Madson is expected to accuse Aung San Suu Kyi of allowing a greater Chinese influence into Burmese politics, a claim the military is using to gain western support. It will also blame the currently arrested president who was the 1991 Nobel peace laureate for orchestrating the Rohingya genocide since 2016, in an attempt to shift the blame away from the country's military.

In recent years, Ben-Mesnshi's lobbyist firm's role in the military conflict in Libya has also been exposed, as he was reported to aid General Khalifa Haftar's efforts to rally international support for his military operation in the country.

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