The Attorney General of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri has announced that his government will not execute the convicted master embezzler of the country's oil profits, Babak Zanjani, until the entire $3bn, that Babak, Reza Zarrab, and Alireza Monfared, allegedly stole from their own government. Zanjani's hanging was to be scheduled in March, but it will now be placed on hold.
Zarrab is defending himself in an Iran sanctions violations case in US District Court in New York City; Monfared was recently extradited back to Iran, from the Dominican Republic. His possession of a diplomatic passport from Dominica has ignited a firestorm of public protest against the government of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who is an associate of Monfared, a known sanctions evader, and who allegedly facilitated the issuance of the passport to Skerrit, allegedly for a large sum of money, in a major corrupt scandal where his resignation has been demanded, by a large percentage of Dominicans
Curiously, it does not appear that Iran has withdrawn its previous offer, to cancel the death penalty, provided that the entire $3bn owed is returned. The present statement infers that Zanjani will ultimately meet the hangman, but only has been granted a temporary reprieve. Zarrab is believed to control a fortune estimated at $6bn.
Whether Monfared, who was apparently a close associate, will turn over control of his overseas assets, to avoid execution himself, is unknown. When he fled Malaysia, escaping an Iranian extradition request, and using his Dominican diplomatic passport to evade justice, he probably carried with him information about his accounts, as well as bearer financial instruments or gems, but it is not known if he deposited any of his assets in Dominica, or owns real property there, using front men or attorneys. It should be noted that Dominica refused an Iranian extradition request, while Monfared resided there, and it is unlikely that the government will cooperate with Iran, in any efforts to seize assets.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock