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'Nobody can force us': Iranian Ambassador allegedly told Wellington tradie owed $250k to 'go complain to Jacinda'

Newshub logo Newshub 29/05/2022 Caley Callahan
A court ruling says tradie is owed $250,000 - but unless the Iranian Embassy pays up, it's not worth the paper it's printed on. © Newshub A court ruling says tradie is owed $250,000 - but unless the Iranian Embassy pays up, it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

A Wellington tradie owed more than $250,000 by the Iranian Embassy just wants a chance to restart his life.

Newshub has seen messages appearing to be from the Iranian Ambassador that claim they don't owe him any money before a court ruled they do.

The court judgement should be worth more than a quarter of a million dollars.

"Maybe I can start my life again," the tradie told Newshub.

But unless the Iranian Embassy pays up, it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

"Just pay what is my right as the order of the court," the tradie said.

The man - who we've agreed not to identify - painted and renovated the Iranian Embassy and the Ambassador's residence two years ago.

He argued he was underpaid, but Newshub has seen messages appearing to be from the Ambassador last month claiming they don't owe him any money.

"Go complaining to Jacinda Ardern or Queen Elizabeth or what the hell. You can go and do that. You know nobody can force us," the man said he was told.

A day after that message was sent, the District Court ruled the Embassy, which failed to even turn up to the hearing, had to pay him nearly $275,000.

It's a life-changing amount for someone who lives in a council flat with his wife and four-month-old baby.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is aware of the court ruling and said it is "seeking to confirm the legal position" but "expects foreign diplomats in New Zealand to respect our laws".

'Nobody can force us': Iranian Ambassador allegedly told Wellington tradie owed $250k to 'go complain to Jacinda'
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Newshub has tried to speak to the Iranian Ambassador but we've had no luck so far. Legally, diplomatic immunity hasn't been waived and the Embassy can't be made to pay.

"Forget about international law, what about human being law?" the tradie said.

All this tradie wants is to get out of debt and build a new life for him and his family.

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