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Iranian Billionaire Promoting "PetroGold" With Turkey Arrested

Tyler Durden's picture


Earlier this week, in "Why The Turkish Government May Be The Casualty Of A $119 Billion PetroDollar Loophole" we said "dare to mess with the Petrodollar and the wrath of the US government will hunt you down... sooner or later." Sure enough, after resulting in a Turkish government scandal, punishing its stock market and sending the Lira reeling, the blowback has reached Iran where billionaire Babak Zanjani was arrested yesterday on corruption charges, although in reality his chief transgression was allowing the Petrogold system to show that the Petrodollar is no longer irreplaceable.

Iran's PressTV reported that the Monday arrest comes after 12 Iranian lawmakers accused Babak Zanjani of corruption, calling for an inquiry into his financial activities in a letter to the heads of the three branches of the Iranian government. "Experts say Babak Zanjani’s estimated net worth is around USD 13.8 billion. The corporate mogul, aged nearly 40, owns and operates many holdings and companies, including the UAE-based Sorinet group, Qeshm Airlines and Rah Ahan Football Club in Iran." According to Head of Iran’s Supreme Audit Court Amin-Hossein Rahimi, Zanjani’s role in the course of transferring the country’s oil revenues involved breach of law.

"After sanctions were imposed against the National Iranian Oil Company, Iran had to export oil and they gave Babak Zanjani the task of exporting some of this oil worth around USD 3.0003 billion. The problem is that they were supposed to get collateral from him by law and this was not done. This is a violation," Rahimi said in a press conference.  Some other lawmakers believe Zanjani is part of a mafia that makes financial benefits out of the sanctions imposed against Iran. “Zanjani is not alone. There is a network of individuals. They are getting rich out of people’s misery caused by sanctions. There is corruption here,” said Iranian legislator Mohammad Reza Tabesh.

So, Zanjani was tasked to circumvent oil sanctions which he did for over a year, but now, for some inexplicable reason, he is arrested for not "getting collateral"?

Of course, that, however, is only half the story. For the full version we go to Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper which last week explained the full extent of Zanjani's "transgressions", the bulk of which involved allowing Iran to avoid the Petrodollar and promoting Petrogold.

This is how the real story goes as explained by Bloomberg:

  • Babak Zanjani, an Iranian blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury for evading Iran sanctions, denies Turkish media reports saying he was involved in illegal trade with people implicated in the country’s corruption probe, Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper reports citing a letter from Zanjani.
  • Zanjani, who was used by Iranian govt to finance sales of Iranian oil, according to the U.S. Treasury, says he was involved in gold trade with Turkey
  • Zanjani says has a minor business relationship with Riza Sarraf, formerly Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-Azeri businessman who was arrested in the corruption probe. As a reminder, Sarraf was arrested two weeks ago along with children of two Turkish cabinet ministers, other senior bureucrats as part of a probe into accusations of graft, money laundering.
  • Zanjani says annual trade volume of his group of companies is around 7 billion euros; trade with Sarraf makes up a fraction of it
  • Zanjani says he made investments in Turkey due to “his confidence in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership”

And seeing how Erdogan's government is on the edge, and may fall any minute, that confidence appears misplaced, with the result being Zanjani's arrest. What is unknown is whether his detention was merely Iran no longer needing his assistance to promote the usage of petrogold as a bypass of the petrodollar system now that the Iranian sanctions have been lifted. The only question we have is how much of Zanjani's arrest was due to behind the scenes US influence making it clear that the Iranian detente will only take place - nuclear enrichment strawman forgotten - only if all those who made Petrogold possible are quitely put behind bars...


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Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:33 | 4288099 GetZeeGold
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Hold on.....let me find my shocked face.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:44 | 4288121 BaBaBouy
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GOLD (not Terrists) IS The Major ###1 Enemy Of The US Power Vector...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:06 | 4288175 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Banksters win again. Shocked face, indeed.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:08 | 4288193 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

I'm surprised they didn't crash his car or airplane.  Or just drone him. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 12:36 | 4288575 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

No, they need a villan to flog. (And confiscate his assets.)

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:11 | 4289279 Rafferty
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There is no way imaginable that he could have honestly made that kind of money before he even reached 40.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:29 | 4289347 garypaul
garypaul's picture

Maybe he made a little app for the iPhone

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 17:15 | 4289487 Golden_Rule
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dumbest thing I've read today (after reading a story where a state arrested a citizen for by-passing illegal sanctions imposed on them)

Not everyone was born to be a ditch digger, Rafferty.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:50 | 4289046 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

" Rahimi said in a press conference. Some other lawmakers believe Zanjani is part of a mafia that makes financial benefits out of the sanctions imposed against Iran. “

Hold on, I have to stop, so, companies that "benefit" from "imposed sanctions" are now called mafia members.   That's funny.   Since, it's the "western" companies that benefit so greatly from these sanctions.  I always knew they were fascists, but now I know, they're also mafia members.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:55 | 4288179 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

I found it!

>.<  Sorry that is for the precious metals take down

Here it is! ._.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:51 | 4288635 ZH Snob
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might this have somethng to do with the false peace deal they signed?  perhaps Zanjani was used as a bargaining chip.

bottom line: save, defend and push the petrodollar at all and any cost.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:37 | 4288104 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Maybe some relationship here to the Gold/Silver smackdown?  It would be somewhat devious to crash the price of PMs after Iran had exchanged a bunch of oil for the stuff.  All related to sending the message to the world that the dollar is the one and only true King.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:51 | 4288146 jimmytorpedo
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,.. All related to sending the message to the world that the OBAMA is the one and only true King.

--there fixed it for you

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:28 | 4288280 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

i think LTER had it right. This is much bigger and more important to TPTB than obama. The petrodollar is far more important to those who run things than anyone occupying the white house for a few years.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:35 | 4288105 Sufiy
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Rob Kirby: When China Doesn't Get Their Gold - That's When This Ends 

Greg Hunter has conducted another very interesting interview and Rob Kirby points out one more time to the elephant in the room - derivatives market, which can be on fire once interest rates will start going up.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:50 | 4288140 10mm
10mm's picture

Dealing with Iran is one thing. China,well that's another. Watched the other day, great interview.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:31 | 4288296 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Get real dude! Not 1 derivatives contract will ever be paid. Stop worrying about that. They were all one-way deals and the money is in super-cars and prestigious real estate. The Fed will never let it happen. Always remember who rules the world.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:38 | 4288106 duo
duo's picture

So we negotiated with Iran behind Saudi Arabia's back so we could protect the petrodollar?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:44 | 4288136 NoDebt
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Don't look so shocked.  The fact we negotiated with Iran behind pretty much all of our allies' backs is not in question any more.  

The reasons for it.... I'll leave that up to your imagination.  Just remember it was another Obama special.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:37 | 4288109 Bobbyrib
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He should be sentenced to death! The dollar must be the main currency for trades to settle. /sarcasm.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:39 | 4288117 Dr. Engali
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I never thought Iran would sell out to the  banking cartel. It certainly appears that they are at this point. Of course they could just be buying time as they continue with their programs, it's hard to tell.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:20 | 4288237 eddiebe
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I would like to remind you, good Dr.' that 'we' are dealing vith very corrupted/corruptible or terrified Iranian leaders/people in power, not the Iranian people or Iran per se.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 12:32 | 4288544 Againstthelie
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It could also be the opposite:

In the situation Iran was, there probably were no alternatives even if they already knew, that this man was a corrupt parasite. So they needed to wait for a situation, when he could be held responsible.


If that was the case, then this would be a sign of Iranian strenght (corruption not tolerated, even among those businessmen who have close relations to the government).

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 12:45 | 4288618 Gordon_Gekko
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The Bankster Cartel US Government must've been like, "Dudes look, you can keep your nukes and shit, we'll give you all the paper dollars you could ever want, hell, we'll even throw in some whores and bitches for you to fuck while we're at it...but JUST.DON'T.FUCK.with.the.[petro]dollar...just look at what we did to Saddam and Gaddafi".

I think that about sums up their "discussions".

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:41 | 4288126 FieldingMellish
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There are Iranian billionaires?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:25 | 4288277 Rory_Breaker
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There were Zimbabwean billionaires too, so why not....

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:45 | 4289032 North Sea Cowboy
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Everyone in Zimbabwe was a Billionaire. Socialism works...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:44 | 4288134 Greenhead
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Seemed like Libya was operating outside of the world BIS-Central bank network.  This PetroGold trade had to be outside too.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:54 | 4288151 buzzsaw99
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All I hear from you, you spineless cowards, is how poor you are; how you can't afford my taxes. Yet somehow, you managed to find the money to hire a gunfighter to kill me. If ya got so much money, I'm just gonna have to take some more. Because clearly some of you haven't got the message! This is my town! I run everything! If you live to see the dawn, it's because I allow it! I decide who lives and who dies! [/John Herod]

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:57 | 4288156 Spastica Rex
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"Now longer" meaning "even more?"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:54 | 4288157 q99x2
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Stop using the petrodollar. The globalists are using it to steal your money and drive you into poverty. They do this by counterfeiting.

Trust technology not governments.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:00 | 4288160 Seasmoke
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Guess lucky for him. Arrest is better than jet crash. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:06 | 4288186 Colonel Klink
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That's until his Mercedes unexpectedly accelerates, then explodes.  Just sayin.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:11 | 4288195 Pumpkin
Pumpkin's picture

He probably told their version of the FAA to shove the recall notice up their asses.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:14 | 4288214 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

'Petrodollar is now longer irreplaceable.'


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:21 | 4288255 Colonel Klink
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Typo and something that isn't caught by spellcheck.  A proofread would have though!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:38 | 4288329 greatbeard
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>> A proofread would have though!

Very difficult, sometimes, proofreading your own chit.



Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:43 | 4288344 Colonel Klink
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Agreed!  You know what you've written and the mind misses the mistake.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:14 | 4288216 BanksterSlayer
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In his Xmas interview with Turd Ferguson, Jim Willie talked about the Petro Yuan and that Iran will get around this by reporting their deals in Dollars but will continue to transact the deals in gold.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:33 | 4288314 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

This goes to show: no one is safe, not here inside the USD "system" or outside of it.
You may be "rich" but you are not safe anywhere. There is nowhere to go. Ask Kim Dotcom.
As long as the Federal Reserve exists, you, your children, your loved ones, anyone you know, anyone you love, are all threatened and are in grave danger from tyranny.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:42 | 4288340 booboo
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You are correct sir and it is the primary focus of the NSA to track money not "tarist"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:42 | 4288785 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Depends on your definition.
Anyone who threatens the Petro-dollar IS a 'terrorist', as the threat of the Dollar's GRC demise terrorizes its masters.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 12:15 | 4288461 saveandsound
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The articel says Iranian authorities are accusing Babak Zanjani. There is no evidence presented that the US-government is involved in this.

Conspiracy theories might be true - however it's nice to have some reliable evidence, isn't it? 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 12:32 | 4288559 Gordon_Gekko
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Yeah, you think the Iranian or the US Governments are openly going to declare their collusion. It's called connecting the dots, my friend.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:20 | 4289323 saveandsound
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Connecting the dots might lead to the correct conclusions. However, in math you need proof, in science you need repeated positve test results and in history or politics you need at least sources.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 18:01 | 4289605 TheLoveArtist
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I am sure the Ayetollahs were looking at this guys wealth and just looking for an excuse to steal his billions and make it their billions.

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 05:17 | 4292696 saveandsound
saveandsound's picture

Yep, something like that. Ockham's Razor.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 12:32 | 4288550 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Making investments today is like buying lottery tickets. Buying Gold today feels like you know (and are buying) in advance the ticket number that's going to win. When the matrix collapses, the skyrocket in Gold will shock each and every person on this planet.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:34 | 4288716 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

So Russia throws a few billionaires in prison for 10 years (and the govt. gets 'street cred' and not overthrown).

Iran throws a billionaire in 'prison'...the prison is probably a 5 star hotel.   Now no one attacks or overthrows Iran.

Do the billionaires in prison act as a scarecrow ?   It sure looks good to throw the 'rascal' into 'prison'.  They are all on the same side, no ?

Now that PetroGold is real...he did his job, and now Iran is protecting him, and the wheels keep turning.

Now the 'evil billionaire' is in prison the PetroGold will continue to be used by Iran and Turkey, and....

It looks like standard policy to throw a few billionaires in 'prison' for years and then the external political problems go away.  Simple.

This is the policiy and it works !

Keep stackin.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:26 | 4288739 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Looks like the NSA has been busy since if it was the inJust Us Dept they would have just had the account information including passwords given to them under the guise of 'national security'.

A new report has revealed that the personal email account of a top U.S. State Department whistleblower has been hacked and four years worth of incriminating emails alleging wrongdoing under Hillary Clinton’s years as secretary were deleted.

“The computer attack targeted the Gmail account of Diplomatic Security Service criminal investigator Richard Higbie, his lawyer, Cary Schulman,” told the New York Post.



Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:29 | 4288751 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

And to bookend this one.

There was a highly suspicious burglary last weekend at the law office of the Dallas firm representing a top State Department whistleblower, according to the local Fox News affiliate, KDFW.

Schulman & Mathias represent Aurelia Fedenisn, the former Office of the Inspector General investigator with the U.S. State Department who recently alleged that senior State Dept. officials instructed agents to back off or drop cases that could be potentially damaging or embarrassing to the department.

The law firm, which was the only office burglarized in the building, had three computers stolen and a file cabinet broken into.

However, numerous other valuables, like silver bars and video equipment, were not taken, including 14 other computers in an unlocked, adjacent office suite, KDFW reported.


This is the same law firm Cary Schulman works.

Yeah there is no government cover up going on here......

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:27 | 4288752 assistedliving
assistedliving's picture

demise of Petrogold reason for my portfolio the exact opposite of the TepperMan?

what does it mean for Au going forward?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:42 | 4288784 W74
W74's picture

The other reason Israel hates Iran: Persians are WHITE!  Just the non-European branch of the White race.  And the jew cannot stand their existence, their history, their culture or their freedom.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 18:07 | 4289618 TheLoveArtist
TheLoveArtist's picture

Jews are not Indo Europeans, they are Semitic Cave Dwellers (only place where the Torah scriptures/Dead Sea Scrolls were ever found, in cave dwellings around Roman times and never in any of the ancient city sites they claimed their own before Roman times, which goes to prove the Jews were a cave dwelling sect created around Roman times by a band of Albino Gypsies entertaining Roman Troops in Palestine)

Anyways all those Semites hate us Indo Europeans for creating Western Civilization and showing them that cave dwelling and living in the desert is for the animals.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 21:02 | 4289991 Martel
Martel's picture

Oil for bitcoins. Might work in small scale, for an annual 1-2 billion USD turnover.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 21:52 | 4290032 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

where do i start? let's go back almost three years when turkey thought about helping qatar get their gas pipeline through syria rather than the one assad had planned on ('all pipelines lead to damascus?) [     ] in which incidentally both seemed to happen (yeah?) concurrently. the saudis provided the psych-ops and fomented an 'arab [?] kinda spring' uprising' in the quiet north-east of syria. bingo! great success? bandarbush had done it again,... but, the one caveat was erdogan's fondness for the muslim brotherhood which the qatari's prized and held in the highest of esteem, while the saudis hated with distain along with tel aviv and those nasty,pesky hamas/palestinian's that was their ace-n-the-hole, that both sides played, keeping chaos alive and well-- the best of middle-east diversions !

now what? assad plays his kurd's, off of the uprising north straddling the border, bringing into the fray the turkish kurd's, while erdogan helps out the saudi's al qaeda, al nursa front. but, here's another wrinkle that erdogan hadn't thought about (or did he in his abstract calculus?) being hezbollah of lebanon joining in the lop-sided fight (?)-- so, now we have lebanon involved and in the eastern central front we've got the isis nutjobs fighting jihadist from the entire world joining hands in a terrorist orgy of blood, and all the shiite symbolic islam (?) one could eat (literally) pouring in from sunni  (no man's land?) iraq (etel)! wow!?!

the saudi's have had it with qatar and tell them to get the fuck-out,... it's our fight now, since the chemical attack wasn't enough to provoke obama's red-line having the russian's stepping in, and bringing some sanity to the sarin gas attack as a saudi set-up false-flag! where is bandarbush?

erdogan now realizes he's in a hot spot-- his coup d'etat didn't work out so well, as most wars are unpredictable. he realigns himself with iran seeing the geneva peace talks over nuclear proliferation could lead to the new power dominance in the middle-east-- that being iran. gold for oil was nothing new seeing china and india have been raping the ussa loophole for a couple of years. but, one has to remember that turkey's current balance sheet deficit had been pretty much financed by the saudi's as has the pakistani's?!?

turkey has all of sudden closed it's porous borders to the jihadist and al nursa front, while soothing talks with iraqi kurds for oil and gas to be pipelined, and irg has helped iraq clean up the isis camps of radical sunni jihadist of the levant, and also the syrian jihadist that has no-name other than bandarbush written all over it (chechen scum/ pak's taliban cut-throats/ al qaeda) partly endorsed by yours truly ussa via jordan!!!

now the new and moderate iranian regime is going after the sanction profiteers? rouhani's got his hands full and zarif can't keep-up, but,... one thing is certain-- iran will lead the middle-east into the 21st century and beyond. as for erdogan (?) he's finnished when his term expires and i doubt he'll get to be president (but, stranger things have happened. afterall, think of putin and medvedev swapping out president/ pm positions?)? remember, not to long ago erdogan tried to change the constitution once and failed barely, but if the next pm's a failure,... you've got erdogan waiting with bells-on!

lastly! iran will prosecute some for misdeameanors at best seeing they (leadership ahmadeenijad?) themselves put them up to it. iran has got so much going for it-- dubai, oman, qatar and others in the gcc see the writing on the wall. as far as the saudi's are concerned,... i'm afraid that a civil war/ arab spring will be at their doorstep next spring before the falcon strikes death. they can't exrtadite illegals fast enough out of the country for fear of a bandarbush blowback filling their hypocritical wahhabism vacuum of avarice,and blasphemy!!!

so, go ahead and use your petrogold to buy petrodollars iran,... and enjoy the next century!

Happy New Year "IRAN"!      jmo 





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