The Iranian regime’s Molla Al-Movaheddin Charity was established in 1987 by Hussein Marashi, the cousin of Effat Marashi, who is the wife of former regime president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The charity is one of the regime’s financial empires with undeclared assets and wealth. However, its connection to Mahan Airlines, whose name is linked to the IRGC’s Quds Force, further questions the public credibility of the charity.
This charity owns 100% of Mahan Airlines shares, and 50% of Kerman Khodro shares.
The charity, which is headed by the current spokesman for the regime’s Executives of Construction Party Hossein Marashi, was officially established in the Kerman Registry Office in order to ‘achieve the goals of the Islamic Republic and address the affairs of the deprived people by creating employment and eliminating underprivileged areas.’
It can be said that this charity is the largest financial cartel of the so-called reformist faction of the regime, which has a very wide range of activities, and it currently owns the following companies: Arman Motor Arg; Omran Arg; Negin Bam; Bam Khodro Arman Electric Services; Carmania Automobile; World Tourism Organization; Kerman Civil Organization; Arian Mahtab Gostar Company; Omran Kar Sirjanan; and Jopar passenger trains.
One interesting fact is that Qassem Soleimani, the slain commander of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, is still listed among the members of the charity board.
Despite its extensive activities and turnover of a billion rials, there is no clear record of its economic activities. Responding to a question about the financial transparency of this charity, the charity’s founder Hossein Marashi explicitly stated that the law did not mention to whom they should give their financial reports.
While many corruption cases regarding the charity have been uncovered over the years, none of these cases have been investigated due to the support from top-ranking regime officials. When it was suggested that the cases of corruption and lack of financial transparency should be discussed in the regime’s parliament, influential figures stepped in to prevent this process from taking place.
The biggest case against the charity is regarding the activities of Mahan Airlines, a company that has been used by the IRGC’s Quds Force to move troops and equipment for military and terrorist operations outside of Iran in recent years.
This charity has also had extensive economic relations with the infamous Babak Zanjani who helped the regime circumvent international sanctions with the help of Mahan Airlines. Among these corrupt activities was the case of Hamid Arabnejad Khanouki from Mahan, a member of the board of directors of Faraz Qeshm Airlines, which was later renamed Qeshm Airlines.
This charity has also had trade and economic relations with Shahram Jazayeri, another of the regime’s corrupt agents who had the case of Kerman’s Haft Bagh land grabbing in his record but was never audited due to the support from the regime’s officials.
Another surprising fact about this foundation is that despite being founded and operated by the regime’s so-called reformists, many of the regime’s IRGC officers are shareholders or members of its board of trustees. Gholam-Ali Abu Hamzeh, the former commander of the Sarallah Corps in Kerman province, and the names of several other senior IRGC commanders can be seen among board members in this so-called charity.
Reports have indicated that the foundation received at least 400 million Euros, at an exchange rate of 42,000 tomans preferred currency, from Rouhani’s government, but there is no information on how and where this huge amount of money has been spent. More shocking reports have also uncovered that a member of its board of trustees is currently present and active in 23 companies with different positions.
In 2005, Hossein Marashi attempted to change the statute of the charity by getting the signatures of Mohammad Reza Bahonar and Qassem Soleimani to join the board of trustees, but the governor and representative of Kerman announced that they would not be accepting the amendment. However, Marashi, who relied heavily on Soleimani, did not pay any attention to their protests.
According to Article 13 of this statute, the board of trustees must appoint a successor and inherit this charity in practice. Qassem Soleimani’s daughter Zaynab reportedly donated around $2 million towards the marriage of Lebanese girls, which appears to have been funded from her inheritance from her father’s share in this charity.
In addition to these activities, this charity has also established a bank. The Resalat Bank has more than 30 branches across Iran, and some of the senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guards are partners on the board of directors.