Babak Zanjani Has Been Given Oil and Some (Other Money), Zanganeh Says

The Host asks, “What do you think about those who took oil and didn’t pay for it?”


Bijan Zanganeh answers, “Yes. Some took it and didn’t pay for it. I think they had no intention to pay for it from the beginning. They didn’t make a mistake. In my opinion, Mr. Babak Zanjani’s team who took the oil didn’t want to pay for it deliberately. He has some assets in Iran and he is supposed to give those assets to the government. But it is much less than his 8000-billion-toman debt to the treasury.”


The Host again, “Mr. Minister, I have a question. The country has a law based on which any kind of government revenue should be transferred to the treasury and expended by some sort of mechanism. Then we give oil to some individuals to solve their problems. What does this mean? Has it ever happened?”


Zanganeh continues, “No, it was not like that. This is just a part of it, not the whole issue. They were supposed to sell the oil and return the money, but they did not.”


The Host adds, “There were also others who sold oil.”


Zanganeh tells, “That’s another story. But as for Mr. Babak Zanjani, they gave oil to him, so that he would sell it. They also gave him some other money. Oil was not all [they gave him]. A part of it was some other money.”


The Host also asks, “What do you mean by some other money?”


Zanganeh answers, “Some other money. [I mean] The loans that were given to Oil Company for implementing its projects. Some of that loan was given to him, and he was supposed to give it to contractors, but he stole that as well.”


The Host adds, “They themselves could have given that money to contractors. Why did they give it to him?”


Zanganeh says, “For instance, He had founded a bank which has no credibility. This is a very questionable issue.”


The Host again, “Interesting! Could you explain it briefly to people, Mr. Minister?”


Zanganeh continues, “And this cannot be rationalized at all.”


The Host asks, “Please explain it briefly to people. What happened?”


Zanganeh tells, “A man has founded a bank with no more than $500,000. He was given more than $2 billion of government money, and this was ratified by the government’s board for oil, signed by the Governor of Iran’s Central Bank, also signed by several ministers. And the money was given to him.”


The Host continues, “We asked him in this show. He said he didn’t know him at all. Those who signed it.”


Zanganeh says, “Well, their signatures are there. They signed [a document which says] transfer [the money] to a bank called FIIB. And it is not clear what this bank is! A bank in Tajikistan has opened another bank in Malaysia, which had no credibility. How could you take such a huge risk? Now, this is the result!”


The Host also asks, “Can the money be returned, Mr. Minister? Are [his] assets enough to…”


Zanganeh answers, “No. His assets are too little. Too little to pay back this much money. His assets in Iran are nothing much.”


The Host wonders, “How about his assets in Malaysia?”


Zanganeh then, “He has nothing in Malaysia.”


The Host again, “Isn’t there any money in that bank?”


Zanganeh answers, “No. There is nothing in that bank. No money was even deposited in that bank. It was another bank. He has spent it all.”


The Host continues, “So where is the money?”


Zanganeh tells, “Well, this man is a phenomenon! As the prosecutor and others say, he is really a phenomenon!”


The Host wonders, “But Mr. Minister, $2 billion is not a small amount of money!”


Zanganeh adds, “$2,700 million! More than that from the treasury.”


The Host then, “That means something around 10,000 billion Tomans.”


Zanganeh says, “More than 8000 billion Tomans.”


The Host continues, “And this is just the original amount of money.”


Zanganeh says, “Yes, this is just the original money. Where is the rest of it? Nonetheless, some authorities have such a nerve! They act as if [we] owe them something! We are being decent by not saying anything, yet they are shameless! What does it mean that you took away all the money?”


The Host also asks, “Isn’t this money traceable at all?”


Zanganeh responds, “Yes. It is traceable. He was not alone in this. How can one person do this on his own? How is it possible for a person to do such a huge job alone? How can a person steal the treasury’s money on his own? How? This is impossible even if he is [like] Arsene Lupin!”


The Host then, “Interesting!”