|Zanjani (Iranian press)|
Babak Zanjani, the Iranian oil sanctions trader, who was a partner of Reza Zarrab and Alireza Monfared, now facing a death sentence, will reportedly not be executed before the beginning of the Iranian solar year, which begins March 21. Iranian media has stated that a member of the country's Oil Ministry, who was charged with recovering the $2.7m had requested that Zanjani die before that date, but Zanjani's attorney asserted that he has not yet filed his appeal of the sentence, and that Iranian law provides that appellate remedies must first be exhausted, before the sentence is carried out.
Last year, Iran did execute a banker sentenced to death, which certainly must be on Zanjani's mind. The seizure (it was not a proper extradition), of his partner, Alireza Monfared*, may also have something to do with the fact that no execution date has yet been announced , though most observers believe it is Reza Zarrab alone that has access to the $3bn Zanjani needs to escape the hangman, and Zarrab is himself busy in New York, fighting American charges that could result in a 75-year sentence, for Iran sanctions evasion. Whether he ever obtains access to the money, and succeeds in having his sentence changed to life in prison remains an open question.
|Monfared and Dominica PM Roosevelt Skerrit|
* There has been no public information, out of Iran, regarding Monfared, since he was taken into Iranian custody, under mysterious circumstances, other than statements, made by Zanjani's attorney, that his testimony will support Zanjani's claims of innocence, though a conviction has already occurred.
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