Iranian government official warns Wellington tradie 'you will regret acting against your country'

A tradesman owed more than a quarter of a million dollars by the Iranian Embassy in Wellington has been told he will "regret acting against your country" for talking to media.

Now, he said he feels threatened and fears for the safety of his family here and in Iran.

The man, who we've agreed not to identify, won a court dispute in early 2022. The District Court ruled that the tradie be paid for unpaid invoices, management work, buying building material, and loss of chance - totalling $274,932. 

Except he hasn't been paid.

"My business is totally dead and I've already given up on it," the tradesman told Newshub.

"I'm in very big debt and I'm at the moment in bankrupt."

Newshub has obtained audio supposedly of an Iranian Embassy official warning the tradesman.

"That you have taken a judicial matter to the media, a matter that is against the embassy of a country, your country, you know that this is a bad thing to do against your country regardless of whether or not you find justice," the person said in the call translated from Persian to English.

"Maybe right now you're angry and I'm sure that in a few years you will regret acting against your country."

Work was done on the Embassy and Ambassador's residence in 2020.

Newshub can reveal an agreement was reached with the Iranian government six months ago to pay $195,500 of the court-ordered sum.

"I'm happy to get something better than nothing, you know," the tradesman added.

New Zealand has no power to act further because foreign government officials have diplomatic immunity. 

"This case is showing another foreigners, people, they can come to New Zealand and do what they want," he said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's chief of protocol has met with the Ambassador on a number of occasions.

The Embassy declined an interview but issued a statement to Newshub.

"This matter is being dealt with [his] legal representative in Iran who is currently in negotiations with the relevant authorities," a spokesperson said.

"The negotiations are confidential and so we are unable to provide any comment at this time."

Except the costs aren't up for negotiation because they were an order of the Court.

No money has ever been paid.

"Nothing at all. Nothing at all Caley. My life is going to be really really down and tough," the tradesman finished.