TEHRAN – Iran has ordered billionaire businessman Babak Zanjani to be executed for corruption, sources in the judiciary said.
In 2016, the Supreme Court of Iran upheld the death sentence against Zanjani who worked as a broker selling Iranian oil through Revolutionary Guards companies during the period of international sanctions, especially during the reign of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Zanjani, 42, is one of the richest men in Iran with an estimated fortune of $14 billion. The business tycoon owns 70 companies.
Media reports online claim Judge Sadeq Amoli Larijani has maintained Zanjani’s death sentence in an effort to divert public attention from the espionage case against his daughter.
The news website had reported that Zahra Ardeshir Larijani has been accused of spying for the UK. However, earlier this month, Iran’s Intelligence Minister, said Mahmoud Alavi denied the media report saying “none of the Larijani family members is suspected of espionage”.
Zanjani was arrested shortly after the election of President Hassan Rouhani.