An Iranian billionaire tycoon has been sentenced to death after being convicted of corruption.

Zanjani was arrested on December 30, 2013 after 12 lawmakers accused him of corruption, calling for an inquiry into his financial activities in a letter to the heads of the three branches of the government. He denies the allegations.

Zanjani, with a reported estimated net worth of $14 billion, had previously been blacklisted by both the United States and the European Union for helping Iran sell oil in violation of worldwide sanctions.

Zanjani and his accomplices were also ordered to repay money they had embezzled.

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. Iran's Oil Ministry says Zanjani owes more than 2 billion euros (£1.5bn) for oil sales he made on behalf of Mr Ahmadinejad's government.

The trial was held in public, which is unusual in Iran. Zanjani amassed a fortune of $10 billion, along with debts of a similar scale, the tycoon once told an Iranian magazine.

For years things worked well for the businessman who appeared in photos with some high-ranking officials and was not shy of showing off his wealth, such as private jets and luxury cars, Amir Azimi of BBC Persian reports. The convicts have the right to appeal their death sentences.

Zanjani rose to prominence after sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic's banks as punishment for its nuclear program hit the country's finances hard.

Mr Rouhani's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh urged investors to deal directly with his ministry and avoid third parties.

Thousands rally around US to protest cop's conviction
Liang's verdict was condemned at the time by the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Patrick J. Cars drove slowly down the surrounding streets, horns honking as supporters held signs out of the windows.