US arrests Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab

Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab arrested in Florida on allegations that he helped Iranian government evade US and international sanctions

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

The US Supreme Court.

Updated Mar 22, 2016

An Iranian-Turkish businessman has been arrested in Florida on charges that he and others engaged in hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions for the Iranian government or other entities as part of a scheme to evade US sanctions against the country.

Reza Zarrab, 33, was charged in an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court along with one of his employees, Kamelia Jamshidy, and a senior officer at a unit of Bank Mellat in Iran, Hossein Najafzadeh, US prosecutors said on Monday.

Zarrab's lawyer Seyda Yildirim said his detention had come as a surprise and has no link to a 2013 Turkish investigation when he was detained over an alleged corruption case and later released. 

"There is absolutely no link," said Yildirim.

​Yildirim said she and Zarrab's team of lawyers in the United States would submit a request for his release on bail, once the court identified an amount for bail.

Zarrab was arrested on Saturday in Miami and appeared in federal court there on Monday, where a federal magistrate judge ordered him detained. Both Jamshidy and Najafzadeh, who are both Iranian nationals, remained at large.

TRTWorld, Reuters