TODAY’S – CHP deputy asks gov’t to confirm Iranian probe into Zarrab

CHP deputy asks gov’t to confirm Iranian probe into ZarrabMain opposition Republican Peopleand#39s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Sezgin TanrIkulu has asked the government whether a group of Iranian parliamentarians is to be sent to Turkey in order to uncover the connections of Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who was a key graft suspect in the corruption investigation into government figures in Turkey that went public on Dec. 17, 2013.

Submitting a parliamentary question to Energy Minister Taner YIldIz on Friday, TanrIkulu put the issue on the parliamentary agenda and asked the minister whether Iran has spoken to his ministry about an investigation.The Cumhuriyet daily reported on Monday that Emir Abbas Sultani, a member of the Iranian parliamentary energy commission, said on Sunday that a group of parliamentarians will be sent to Turkey in order to investigate the ties between Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani, who was detained in Tehran on Dec.

30, 2013 by Iranian officials, and Zarrab.andldquoWhat we do not know about Zanjani is the scale of his business with Zarrab in Turkey.

The group will investigate and reveal the roots of this relationship. We cannot just leave Zarrab out of the corruption allegations.

Some people have been trying to cover up the allegations due to the fact that Zarrab is not an Iranian citizen anymore. But it is obvious that the businessmen have been working together for years, and we canand#39t just ignore that,andrdquo Emir Abbas Sultani said in a statements to the Iranian daily Iark.

The Iranian parliament previously sent envoys to three different countries, including Turkey, in order to determine Babak Zanjaniand#39s total assets. After Iark published new documents regarding the relationship between Zarrab and Zanjani, the Iranian parliament decided to send another envoy to investigate the depth of the connection between the two controversial businessmen.

The new documents revealed by the newspaper pertain to bank accounts used jointly by Zanjani and Zarrab.Despite the tight sanctions imposed by the US and the UN, Zanjani sold gas to many countries in exchange for gold and it is known that he serves different sectors, including from prominent clients in Turkey, the UAE, Malaysia, China and Tajikistan.

The Zanjani investigation in Iran and the Zarrab investigation in Turkey have followed very different courses. The Iranian authorities have always found it necessary to proceed with the Zanjani case, while from the beginning, Turkish government officials labeled the corruption allegations a andldquocoupandrdquo attempt and tried to cover them up.

All the prosecutors and police officers involved in the investigation have been removed and Zarrab was released after a short while in custody. He was even called a hero by pro-government media outlets.

However, Iranian energy commission parliamentarian Abbas Sultani, who is one of the people with the most information about the Zanjani case, believes there is still room for cooperation and that Turkey should take the initiative. Sultani has expressed his views to the press as follows: andldquoBoth in Turkey and Iran, the duty of combating corruption and economic terrorism does not belong only to the judiciary it is the responsibility of governments and parliaments as well.

Indeed, we believe that Zanjani is a member or a representative of a huge corruption and mafia network. We are examining all his commercial activities.

The [Iranian] judiciary sent delegations to all the countries where Zanjani has companies. The purpose of these delegations is to identify Zanjaniand#39s open and secret companies.

andhellip But, for these efforts to be successful, certain countries need to cooperate with us.andquot.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman