News / Middle East

Iranian Businessman Says Blacklisting Good Publicity

TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— An Iranian businessman named by the United States and the European Union for breaching sanctions against Iran said on Friday his blacklisting was giving him good publicity.

The U.S. Treasury Department slapped financial penalties on Babak Zanjani and a network of companies on Thursday which it accuses of attempting to evade international sanctions on Iran's nuclear program by moving billions of dollars on behalf of the Iranian government.

Zanjani, who denies any wrongdoing, was already a target of EU sanctions, which described him in December as "a key facilitator for Iranian oil deals'' and accused his Malaysia-based First Islamic Bank of being used to channel Iranian oil-related payments.

"We didn't have any problems in our business since the EU ban. Actually, business is much better compared to December,'' Zanjani told Reuters by telephone from Dubai, where several of his companies are based.

"Sanctions have provided publicity for us,'' he said.

U.S. and European sanctions on Iran's oil industry aim to choke funding for its nuclear program. The West fears Iran is seeking atomic weapons, while Tehran says the program is for civilian purposes.

Under Thursday's U.S. sanctions, Zanjani, First Islamic Bank and a network of companies are banned from any transactions with U.S. citizens and any assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

"The United States duplicated the European Union sanctions. They have no documents to prove their accusations,'' said the businessman, whose group has up to 65 companies operating in cosmetics, food, oil and aviation.

"I am Iranian therefore inevitably I work with Iranian companies. But I do not help the Iranian government,'' he said.

One of the Zanjani companies sanctioned by the U.S. is based in Turkey. An official for Kont Group and Kozmetik Ltd said Zanjani handed over his shares in the company to a Turkish individual in February and no longer has ties with the firm.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid