A pair of all-cash deals in Beverly Hills lead to two prominent members of the Barzani family, the most powerful and influential family in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The two homes — totaling $47 million and spanning 21,000 square feet and 12,000 square feet, respectively — were purchased by a Virginia man linked to Mansour and Masrour Barzani, according to Variety.
Masrour Barzani was elected Prime Minister of the autonomous Kurdistan region and Mansour is head of the region’s security council. Both are the sons of former Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani. Numerous other family members hold top positions in the regional government.
Their grandfather is Mustafa Barzani, the first leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and a key figure in the Kurdish independence movement. The family is one of the most wealthy families in the northern Iraq region, if not the most wealthy, and has been accused of corruption and monopolizing various businesses in the region.
The purchases in Beverly Hills closed three months apart last year. The so-called Maison 613 in the Flats area sold first for $27 million. The opulent abode has an indoor basketball court, a two-lane bowling alley, and home theater, as well as what Hilton & Hyland called in marketing materials “the most advanced, orchestrated lighting, sound and security systems imaginable.” Architect Roy Sklarin designed the home.
The second home is the Foothill Manor, about a mile away. The home dates from 1970, but is every bit as extravagant as Maison 613, and is much more private. The home sits on a hillside up a private drive and shaded by trees. It has the usual trappings of high-end Beverly Hills estates, including a gym, screening room, and landscaped grounds.
Neither home appears to be occupied, according to Variety. Masrour Barzani reportedly owns another mansion in McLean, Virginia where he regularly stays during trips to meet with U.S. officials.
While the Barzani family is fabulously wealthy — some estimates of their wealth reach as high as $48 billion — around 87 percent of households in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region make less than $850 per month, according to the United Nations Population Fund. [Variety] — Dennis Lynch