|Born||March 21, 1974|
|Occupation||Founder, Chairman and CEO of Sorinet Group
Owner of Rah Ahan F.C.
|Net worth||US$ < 0 (2014)|
Babak Zanjani (Persian: بابک زنجانی), also known as Babak Morteza Zanjani (بابک مرتضی زنجانی), is an Iranian named in the restrictive measures against Iran by the European Union on December 2012 by the EU council on the grounds of what was stated as "assisting designated entities to violate the provisions of the EU regulation on Iran and is providing financial support to the government of Iran". Zanjani was claimed to be "a key facilitator for Iranian oil deals and transferring oil-related money".
He owns and operates the UAE-based Sorinet Group. He also own the Qeshm Airlines and the Rah Ahan Sorinet F.C. in Iran. He denied the accusation, declining any ties with the Iranian government and calling the Europeans' decision "a mistake".
Sorinet Group (Persian: گروه شرکتهای سورینت) is an Iranian business conglomerate led by Babak Zanjani. The company is one of Iran’s largest business conglomerates. Sorinet businesses include cosmetics, finance and banking, hospitality, commercial aviation, infrastructure, building material, Information technology and international real estate development with operations in Iran, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Tajikistan, Malaysia and China as well as other emerging markets in the region.
The EU sanctions against Iran describe Babak Zanjani as "a key facilitator for Iranian oil deals and transferring oil related money" and accuses First Islamic Bank of being used to channel Iranian oil-related payments. Zanjani said the complex nature of his companies' transactions, involving large sums, might have misled EU authorities. Companies of Babak Zanjani are or may be involved in the Labuan Iran oil smuggle at the eastern coast of Malaysia. Labuan has been serving as a drop-off spot for Iranian crude.
Alleged Dual Nationality
In January 2013 an Iranian news website, Baztab, reported that Zanjani holds a Danish passport in addition to his Iranian one, a claim which was later denied by Zanjani. He called the passport's copy "fake" saying in an interview with the news website of his football team: "...This story [the copy of my passport] is too badly fabricated that even they put my picture on the passport without a tie, however, it is obligatory to tie a necktie to take pictures for European passports," which is not true.
On 30 December 2013, Zanjani was arrested by police due to his role in corruption scandal. Some days later, spokesman of National Bank of Tajikistan, denied any cooperation between Zanjani and the bank and claimed all documents have been presented by Zanjani about their two-way communications are fake.
- "To This Tycoon, Iran Sanctions Were Like Gold". News (in English) (NY Times). 5 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 1264/2012 of 21 December 2012". implementing Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran. Official Journal of the European Union. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Lewis, Barbara (23 December 2012). "Tougher EU sanctions against Iran come into force". Article. Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Zanjani to Rahahan footballers: Raise your self-confidence". News (in Persian). Reuters. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Pamuk, Humeyra (23 December 2012). "Iranian businessman denies EU sanctions-busting accusation". Article. Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Businessman sees upside of sanctions". News (in English). Radio Zamaneh. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Zanjani's comments on the recent allegations and accusations". News (in Persian). Reuters. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "Zanjani arrested". Radiofarda.com. 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- "Babak Zanjani was arrested". Khabaronline.ir. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- Tajik National Bank Denies Link With Iranian Businessman Radio Free Europe