Conflict & Justice

Four Sentenced to Death Over Iran Bank Fraud

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100,000 Iranian rial, now worth less than $4 on the black market. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

It seems like everyone hates bankers these days, but the punishments meted out in a massive banking scandal in Iran would seem extreme, even to the most radical Wall Street Occupier.

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Four people have been sentenced to death for their roles in Iran's biggest-ever bank fraud scandal and ten others sentenced to decades in prison for a fraud scheme involving loans worth more than $2 billion.

The scandal even threatened to engulf Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose economy minister Shamseddin Hosseini narrowly survived an impeachment vote in November.

Muhammad Sahimi is a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California; he's also a journalist who writes frequently on Iran for the website Tehran Bureau.