Iranian and U.S. banknotes are on display at a currency exchange shop in downtown Tehran, April 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Iran's billionaire tycoon Babak Zanjani has been sentenced to death for corruption, a judicial official said Sunday, after a long trial in which he was accused of fraudulently pocketing $2.8 billion.Zanjani had repeatedly said in media interviews that in return for commissions paid by Ahmadinejad's government he was tasked with circumventing sanctions to get money back to Iran.In October last year, however, Rouhani's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh signaled the shifting political balance in Iran, hitting out at the use of middlemen such as Zanjani, who before being arrested had boasted of his personal wealth. Speaking after Iran concluded a nuclear deal with world powers, paving the way for increased foreign activity in Iran's oil sector, Zanganeh urged investors to deal directly with his ministry and avoid third parties.
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