The government says he violated trade sanctions against Iran. His family says he's the victim of a witch hunt. Parviz Khosrowyar has run a Tulsa company called GasTech for 20 years. But now, he's considered a fugitive and the company is in shambles.
News on 6 reporter Steve Berg talked with his daughter who says she's trying to hold down the fort.
"Sometimes I don't even feel like I belong here, I don't know where I am, if this is the place where I grew up." Lilac Khosrowyar[pictured] was born in Tulsa, went to Holland Hall, and went to the University of Tulsa. She also goes to church at Asbury United Methodist. With a psychology and biology degree, she'd probably be the first to tell you she's not cut out to run an oil and gas company. Especially one on the brink of collapse. "We can't do business; everyone's saying 'is he a terrorist? Is he aiding and abetting terrorism?' It's just not true."
"He" is her father, Parviz Khosrowyar, who the government has accused of doing illegal business with the National Iranian Gas Company and of trying to cover it through a Canadian business.
Khosrowyar says her father began the deal in August of 2001, when US relations with Iran were much friendlier and there was talk of lifting sanctions, but then things soured after September 11th and when it became clear the deal would be complicated, she says her father transferred the deal to the Canadian company with no strings attached.
In any event, she says she finds it ironic that her father is being brought up on charges, when she says other US companies deal with Iran through foreign subsidiaries. "Too many, there's over 35 companies here that deal with direct subsidiaries with Iran. We've tried to cooperate with the government, we've tried to give them information, we've tried to reason, they just don't want that."
In just over a year, she says the once-thriving Tulsa company has gone from 150 employees to 20. "Everyone that you see here, it's just boxes and computers and empty desks." One of those empty desks is her dad's, who the government says is living in London. "My dad is my best friend, so it's very tough."
Steve Berg called the US Attorney's office to get "their" take on things. They say they can't comment on pending cases, but they say they will pursue every avenue to arrest Mr. Kosrowyar and bring him to justice.