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Record corruption scandal puts spotlight on Iranians in Iran, US

The revelation of perhaps the biggest corruption scandal in Iranian history has exposed domestic political fault lines and is already reverberating as far away as Washington, DC.

Shortly after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call on officials to uproot corruption, the Iranian judiciary announced perhaps the largest embezzlement case in the country’s history involving some 6.6 billion euros ($7.4 billion).

Similar to other major embezzlement scandals in recent years — such as the one centered on businessman Babak Zanjani, who is now awaiting execution — the current case relates to murky schemes to bypass sanctions imposed by then US President Barack Obama. Over a dozen executives and board members of petrochemical companies are accused of financial crimes dating back to 2010-13, the final years of previous President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Eleven of the main suspects are in custody, while three others are reportedly abroad and will be tried in absentia.

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