Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug.31/ Trend R.Zamanov
Babak Zanjani, a famous Iranian businessman, has confirmed helping Iranian government to sell oil, as well helping Iranians to transfer billions of dollars from outside the country.
Zanjani's Holding company consists of 64 firms, registered both inside and outside the country.
He was blacklisted by the United States on April 11 and four months later the European Union blacklisted him.
In his interview to the ISNA News Agency, Zanjani said that a foreign bank has confiscated $250 million from his account since the United States fined the bank due to handling money transfers of Iranians.
He didn't specify the name of the Bank, but the United States imposed a $250 million fine on Japanese Mitsubishi Bank in June for violating US sanctions to Iran.
The council of the European Union has announced that Babak Zanjani (born on March 12, 1971) is assisting designated entities to violate the provisions of the EU regulation on Iran and provides financial support to the Iranian government. Zanjani is a key facilitator for Iranian oil deals and transferring oil-related money. Zanjani owns and operates the UAE-based Sorinet Group, and some of its companies are used by Zanjani to channel oil-related payments, the ISNA News Agency reported on August 31.
Zanjani said that he started to establish companies inside and outside Iran in 1980. He claims that just in 2 years he established 11 firms. He said that establishing a financial institution in the United Arab Emirates, he managed to cooperate with foreign banks in order to transfer money and LCs.
Zanjani added that he established the Sorinet Holding Company and the number of his registered firms hit 64.
He is a member of the boards of directors of Malaysia-based First Islamic Bank, but he rejects to be the owner or a share-holder of the bank.
He told ISNA News Agency that before the sanctions hit Iran so hard, he decided to become a member of the boards of directors of a foreign bank in Malaysia and connect his UAE-based financial institutions (with total capital of around 5 billion euro) to the bank in order to facilitate rendering financial services.
Zanjani said that has helped to transfer around 17.5 billion euro of Iranian banks' capitals from outside the country to domestic bank accounts with a 0.007 per cent interest.
He further rejected rumors about selling Iranian oil at low prices by him. He said that a Hong Kong-based company, which is a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company, is in charge of selling Iran's oil but since no bank was ready to transfer money for the firm, the mentioned company asked him to help and he managed to transfer the money via the Malaysia-based bank. (He was a member of its boards of directors).
Zanjani also said that he has helped the Hong Kong-based company to sell eight oil containers, as well as some gas condensate containers. He claimed that he has helped Iran to sell around 12 oil and gas condensates containers in total and secured the money transfer.
According to Zanjani, in total, the National Iranian Oil Company exported 1.9 million euro worth of oil products via his companies.
He said that after being blacklisted by the US and the EU, the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) gave a 15-day deadline to the bank in order to transfer his financial resources (over 13.5 billion euro) to somewhere else.
Zanjani said that he is accused of violating sanctions against Iran in 272 cases.
He said that the First Islamic Bank has saved 17.5 billion euro of Iran's oil revenues by transferring the mentioned amount to domestic accounts through over 9,000 transactions.
Sorinet Holding Company has invested over 200 trillion rial ($6.25 billion based on the rate of USD in the free market) in Iran, Zanjani said, adding that he has helped 15 domestic banks to transfer their capitals.
He also said that he owns a complex in Iraq which produces diesel oil. The complex transits the produced diesel oil from Iraq's Kurdistan region to Afghanistan.
Zanjani further added that he owns 10 companies in Tajikistan and Terkey.
According to him, his holding company has 11 - 12 billion euro of foreign debt and annually pays 1.5 - 2 per cent of the mentioned amount as interest.