Babak Zanjani

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Babak Zanjani
5th session of Babak Zanjani's court-25.jpg
Native name بابک مرتضی زنجانی
Born Babak Morteza Zanjani
(1974-03-12) 12 March 1974 (age 42)[1]
Tehran, Iran
Residence Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Alma mater Ege University
Occupation Businessman

Babak Morteza Zanjani (Persian: بابک مرتضی زنجانی‎‎; born 12 March 1974) is an Iranian businessman. He was the managing director of the UAE-based Sorinet Group, one of Iran's largest business conglomerates.[2] He also owned Qeshm Airlines and Rah Ahan Sorinet F.C. in Iran.[3] Zanjani was named in the European Union's restrictive measures against Iran of December 2012.[4]

Sorinet Group[edit]

Sorinet Group (Persian: گروه شرکت‌های سورینت‎‎) is an Iranian business conglomerate. 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. Its operations are in Iran, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Tajikistan, Malaysia, China, and other emerging markets in the region.

Investments in Iranian Cinema[edit]

Babak Zanjani has invested in following Iranian movies:

  • Hich Koja Hich Kas (No where, No body) (2012)
  • Naghsh-e Negar (Stencils) (2013)
  • Sizdah (Thirteen) (2014)

EU sanctions against Iran[edit]

Zanjani was named in the restrictive measures against Iran in December 2012 by the EU council on the grounds of "assisting designated entities to violate the provisions of the EU regulation on Iran and is providing financial support to the government of Iran".[4] Zanjani was claimed to be "a key facilitator for Iranian oil deals and transferring oil-related money".[5] He denied the accusation, declining any ties with the Iranian government and calling the Europeans' decision "a mistake".[6]

The EU sanctions against Iran describe 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.[7] Zanjani said the complex nature of his companies' transactions, involving large sums, might have misled EU authorities. Zanjani's companies are or may be involved in the Labuan Iran oil smuggling on the eastern coast of Malaysia. Labuan has been serving as a drop-off spot for Iranian crude.

Alleged dual nationality[edit]

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 Rahahan F.C., his football team: "This story [the copy of my passport] is too badly fabricated that they even 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.[8]

Arrest and conviction[edit]

On 30 December 2013, Zanjani was arrested by Iranian police for his alleged role in a corruption scandal, in which he was accused of embezzling more than €2.7 billion.[9][10] Some days later, a spokesman from the National Bank of Tajikistan denied any cooperation between Zanjani and the bank and claimed all documents presented by Zanjani about their two-way communications were fake.[11] On 6 March 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to death for embezzlement and "spreading corruption on earth".[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "To This Tycoon, Iran Sanctions Were Like Gold". New York Times. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Sorinet Group". 
  3. ^ "Zanjani to Rahahan footballers: Raise your self-confidence". Rah Ahan Sorinet F.C. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1264/2012 of 21 December 2012". Official Journal of the European Union. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Barbara Lewis (23 December 2012). "Tougher EU sanctions against Iran come into force". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Humeyra Pamuk (23 December 2012). "Iranian businessman denies EU sanctions-busting accusation". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Businessman sees upside of sanctions". Radio Zamaneh. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Zanjani's comments on the recent allegations and accusations". Rahahan F.C. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Zanjani arrested". Radio Farda. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Babak Zanjani was arrested". Khabar Online. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Tajik National Bank Denies Link With Iranian Businessman Radio Free Europe
  12. ^ "Iranian billionaire Babak Zanjani sentenced to death for embezzlement". Reuters. The Guardian. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Iran billionaire sentenced to death". BBC. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 

External links[edit]