#IranNLBgate: What is the cost of Milan Kučan’s friendship?

Last week we broached the question concerning #IranNLBgate of who has helped the Iranian citizen with a British passport Iraj Farrokhzade get into NLB, where almost $1 billion were laundered in the years 2009 and 2010. When we wrote that it had been an honorary consul of a foreign country who had allegedly been a person of interest for the police before their investigation had been halted because of his good relationship with Milan Kučan, the former president of Slovenia sent us a rather cynical response.

Jordan is Kučan’s first Arab country      
Milan Kučan
 was of course well aware of which honorary consul we had in mind. Samir Amarin has been an honorary consul of Jordan in Slovenia since March 1995, and in 2002 he was the one who arranged a visit to Jordan for then president of Slovenia Milan Kučan. Insiders claim that nothing concerning relations between Slovenia and the Arab world happens without Samir Amarin. When Borut Pahor visited the dictator Moamer Gadafi, Samir Amarin occupied an honorary place between Pahor and Gadafi. Milan Kučan put Jordan on his agenda as the first Arab country he would visit, and during his three-day visit he also met with the Jordanian king Abdulah II. In Jordan, Kučan was also accompanied by then president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia Jožko Čuk, who signed an agreement with a Jordanian colleague about establishing a Slovenian–Jordanian business council.

Amarin is a well-known face in Slovenian economic and political circles    
The honorary consul Samir Amarin is a well-known face in Slovenian diplomatic and economic circles. When he was 18 years old he arrived in former Yugoslavia as a student, and via Belgrade and Zagreb his path took him to Ljubljana, where he graduated at the Faculty of Pharmacy. Among the honorary consuls active in Slovenia, he is one of the more visible ones since he can be seen at various receptions, social gatherings, and other events, and he is also active in economic life. Jordan has an embassy in Vienna, which also covers the Republic of Slovenia.

In the case of Samir Amarin, the police are truly in an unfavourable position: He has the status of a consul and there is also his relationship with Milan Kučan.

Miro Petek