Iran’s billionaire ‘economic basij’ arrested

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Babak Zanjani, Iran’s sanctions-busting billionaire who thinks of himself as an “economic basij” for what he calls his services to the country, was arrested yesterday and reportedly sent to Evin prison over approximately $3 billion owed to the government for the sale of oil and petrochemicals.

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Businessman Close to Ahmadinejad Owes Iran $2 Billion

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According to Iran’s oil minister, billionaire businessman Babak Zanjani owes the Iranian treasury $2 billion.

Zanjani, who has referred to himself as an “economic basiji,” is a controversial businessman who owns various international companies, including an Iranian airline and a soccer team. He and his companies are sanctioned by both the European Union and the United States. When the US sanctions against him were announced in April, Zanjani bragged that it was “good publicity.”

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