06212018Thu

Iran’s Supreme Leader runs business empire worth £60bn

The Independent: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls a business empire worth around £60 billion – a sum exceeding the value of his oil-rich nation’s annual petroleum exports – a six-month Reuters investigation has found.


The Independent

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls a business empire worth around £60 billion – a sum exceeding the value of his oil-rich nation’s annual petroleum exports – a six-month Reuters investigation has found.

The little-known organisation, called Setad, is one of the keys to the Iranian leader’s enduring power and now holds stakes in nearly every sector of Iranian industry, including finance, oil, telecommunications, birth-control pills and even ostrich farming.

Setad has built its empire on the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary Iranians – members of religious minorities, Shia Muslims, business people and Iranians living abroad.

The Reuters investigation documents how Setad has amassed a giant portfolio of real estate by claiming in Iranian courts, sometimes falsely, that the properties are abandoned. The organisation now holds a court-ordered monopoly on taking property in the name of the Supreme Leader, and regularly sells the seized properties at auction or extracts payments from the original owners. Reuters  identified nearly 300 properties that Setad put up for auction in May alone, many worth millions of dollars.

The organisation’s full name in Persian is “Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam” – Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam. The name refers to an edict signed by the Islamic Republic’s first leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, shortly before his death in 1989. It spawned an entity to manage and sell properties abandoned in the chaotic years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. According to one of its co-founders, Setad was created to help the poor and war veterans and was meant to exist for just two years.

Almost a quarter-century on, Setad has morphed into a business juggernaut. While Setad controls a charitable foundation, it’s not clear how much money goes to charity.

Under Khamenei, the organisation has expanded its corporate holdings, buying stakes in dozens of Iranian companies, both private and public, with the stated goal of creating an Iranian conglomerate to boost the country’s economic growth.

In June, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Setad, calling the organisation “a massive network of front companies hiding assets on behalf of ... Iran’s leadership”.

Setad’s director-general of public relations, Hamid Vaezi, said the investigation is “far from realities and is not correct”. In a subsequent top cleric, Khamenei has final say on all governmental matters. His purview includes his nation’s controversial nuclear program, which was the subject of intense negotiations between Iranian and international diplomats in Geneva that ended on Sunday without an agreement.

The investigation shows that as well as political and military force, there is a third dimension to Khamenei’s power: economic might. The revenue stream also helps to explain why he has held on at the top for 24 years.

 

Search

North Khorasan Province, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Yazd, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Bandar Abbas, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Pasargadae, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Iran-Bandar Lengeh, May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Iran-Isfahan, May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Iran,Isfahan, Apr. 10, 2018. Farmers' Protest Rally Continues

Iran,Isfahan, Apr. 10, 2018. Farmers Stage Major Protest Gathering in Khourasgan Square

Iran – the Portrait of Khamenei and Khomeini Was Set on Fire

>

Ahvaz, 29 Mar, Peaceful Demonstration of People Faces With Brutal Clashes by the Security Forces

IRAN, AHVAZ, Mar 27&28 People Clash With Security Agents Who Wanted to Destroy Their Houses

WARNING - VULGAR LANGUAGE March 13 - Tehran, NW #Iran‌ Protesters Celebrating #FireFest and Clashing

Iran: Video Clip, Activists Setting Fire 2 Paramilitary Bassij Center in Lavasan, North Tehran. #Fir

March 13 - Qazvin, NW #Iran‌ Protesters Starting #FireFest, Defying Authorities Banning Such #4Shanb

Iranian Opposition Organises Protest Against Presence of Iranian Justice Minister at UN in Geneva

Iran - Feb 6: Protest by swindled investors of the Caspian investment fund in Rasht

Iran: Kian Tyre factory workers protest overdue wages

Iran Protests- Jan. 5, 2018 City of Tabriz, Protests Inside the Football Stadium

Iran Protests- 5 Jan 2018 - Crowd Chants Slogan Against State Security Forces