According to Soltani, “Zarrab knew that there is no extradition agreement between Iran and the US. That is why he decided to go to the United States. He is waiting to see when it will all blow over to and what will happen to Zanjani. If he [Zanjani] gets executed, Zarrab can deny a lot of the facts after Zanjani’s death.”
On April 27, Zarrab pleaded not guilty to four conspiracy charges, including bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy. These charges carry a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison. Zarrab had earlier declined to seek bail in Florida, where had been detained.
In Soltani’s telling, “Zarrab is a close confidant of Zanjani as well as a senior manager of his companies. They both established more than 70 companies, and many of them were administrated by Zarrab.”
The Iranian member of parliament further told Al-Monitor, “Zarrab often visited Iran before Zanjani’s arrest. He repeatedly sent a message to us that he had no relationship with Zanjani. But it is completely clear that he was connected to Zanjani and was one of his managers.”
Soltani emphasized, “Most of Zanjani’s assets in Turkey are in the name of Zarrab.” However, a few months ago, Rasool Koohpayehzade — Zanjani’s lawyer — claimed that Qodrat Tanjil, one of Zanjani’s partners, had illegally taken over some of his client’s assets in Turkey.
Soltani told Al-Monitor that there are more than 30 charges against Zanjani and Zarrab, including “stealing the Iranian Oil Ministry’s money.”