The US Treasury Department on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 added the Executive Committee of the Imam Khomeini’s Order, or EIKO -a government commercial holdings program- and 37 of its affiliated companies to its blacklist due to their cooperation with the Iranian government and their assistance in circumventing international sanctions against the mullahs’ regime.
The Treasury Department announced in a communique: “EIKO has made tens of billions of dollars in profit for the Iranian regime each year through the exploitation of favorable loan rates from Iranian banks and the sale and management of real estate holdings, including selling property donated to EIKO. EIKO has also confiscated properties in Iran that were owned by Iranians not living in Iran full-time.” These properties are then outrageously traded out of sight from international monitoring bodies. The Iranian government would also make huge investments under the guise of unregistered companies.
The press release also pointed out that they have been able to benefit from government trading companies in Europe and elsewhere. Out of the labyrinth of 37 companies involved that have been added to the list of US sanctions, some are based in Germany, Croatia and South Africa.
The History of EIKO
The Executive Committee of the Imam Khomeini’s Order is only one of the financial cartels in Iran’s economy. In the last five years, the only cartel to compete with the scale of EIKO’s many economic activities has been the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. EIKO, due to its relation with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and its rants (special rights and privileges), is a strong conglomerate, secure and free from any standard accounting, official monitoring or critique.
The Executive Committee of the Imam Khomeini’s Order, which is under the direct command of the supreme leader, is neither a governmental nor an executive body. EIKO was established by order of Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, with a one year mandate related to the identification and confiscation of the property of individuals related to the previous political system. However, this committee was re-established in 1991 by order of Khamenei –not only for the confiscation of assets and holdings of people belonging to the previous regime, but also the assets and holdings of Jews, and whomever left the country.
The chief officer of EIKO is Dr. Mohammad Mokhber, who was appointed on July 17, 2007 for the standard period of 5 years. Before Mokhber, Mohamad Iravani, a former two-term minister of finance, was chief officer of the cartel.
Prior to being appointed to this position, Mokhber was the head of Bonyad-e-Mostazafin, the Foundation of the Oppressed, and later was transferred to the Ministry of Communications. Mohammad Mokhber was on the Iran sanctions list of the European Union until October 2012.
The newer structure of EIKO, initiated in 1991, consists of roughly 100 people who are active in overseeing and implementing the cartel’s activities. Like all, those on the oversight board are appointed by Khamenei. Among them are Mohammad Golpayegani, Khamenei’s chief of staff; Mullah Nayeri, one of the judges responsible for the 1988 execution en masse of political prisoners; and Hossein Shariatmadari, the interrogator and torturer who is editor-in-chief of the news daily, Kayhan, the media arm of Khamenei’s supreme leader office.
The management council of EIKO consists of Khamenei’s older son, Mustafa; former Chairman of the EIKO, Mohammad Iravani; and former Minister of Commerce, Mohammad Shariatmadari.
EIKO Financial Dealings
Unnamed sources in Iran’s financial arena estimate assets under EIKO control to be over tens of billion dollars. The US Treasury Department report states: “EIKO and its subsidiaries – one that manages and controls EIKO’s international front companies, and another that manages billions of dollars in investments – work on behalf of the Iranian government and operate in various sectors of the Iranian economy and around the world, generating billions of dollars in profits for the Iranian regime each year.”
Listed below are a few examples of EIKO’s shady dealings:
●In 2009, EIKO demonstrated its influence when it partnered with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to purchase the complete shares of the Telecommunications Company of Iran.
●In 2010, Khamenei transferred assets worth billions of dollars from the Shrine of Holy Abdolazim in the city of Rey, southeast of Tehran, to EIKO.
●EIKO’s activities revolved around real estate and construction, until 2008, when they branched out into other activities. However, land deals remain the primary investment, and a three-year program was initiated in March 2009 for construction projects amounting to 10 million square meters.
●Since 2007, with the appointment of Mokhber as chief officer, EIKO has become a huge real estate conglomerate composed of five financial groups among which include the information and communications technology, oil and energy sectors.
●EIKO’s net worth is $800 million in the following alone: Parsian Bank (16% ownership), Mellat Insurance (15%), Qazvin Kar Bank (11%), and Iran Khodro Company (automobile manufacturing -5% ownership)
The following is a list of companies in which EIKO has full ownership:
Barekat (Blessing) Foundation
On September 28, 2008, Aref Nooroozi, EIKO chief officer of assets and holdings, announced the Barekat Foundation to be part of EIKO. According to Shaheen Shasan Arani, the executive director of the Foundation, on August 17, 2010, Barekat works under the mandate of famine elimination and empowering the poor in the underdeveloped parts of the country.
Barekat has actually been the external arm of EIKO’s earned incomes application initiative since December 2007, according to which the foundation was to act efficiently in planning incomes for the deprived. The Foundation was to use the gains from assets, real estate sales and other economic activities to improve investments, job creation and the overall economy of underdeveloped areas.
With its financial support and its entrepreneurs, the Foundation currently has 41 production, industrial and agricultural plans that are worth more than $440 billion for development and production in the underdeveloped areas of 15 Iranian provinces. Yet, this translates into a mere total of eight thousand jobs.
Foundation Executive Director Shaheen Shasan Arani announced on October 27, 2010, the opening of Barekat Bank with a capital of $200 billion “established according to private bank rules and regulations having a central branch in Tehran and branches in six other provinces.”
Tadbir Economic Development Group
The Tadbir Economic Development Group (Tadbir Group) is one of two major conglomerates directly controlled by EIKO. All other subsidiaries and front companies in labyrinth of 37 sanctioned companies fall under either the Tadbir Group, or the Tosee Eqtesad Ayandehsazan Company (TEACO).
Eshqi, the CEO of the Tadbir Group, said on October 24, 2010, after the acquisition of the group by EIKO, that the current company investment strategies will remain the same prior to the transfer of high potential stock and programs “which don’t need any cash infusions in a negative market.”
Subsidiaries of the Tadbir Group include:
●Tadbir Construction Development Company
This company covers the holdings of four largest active groups in buildings and structures, and is active in the construction of residential, commercial and industrial structures as well as service and construction related services. It is also active in the various commerce activities of domestic and international financing. Web address: www.tcdgroup.org
●Tadbir Investment Company
This company’s holdings consist of six financial front companies that specialize in investment, stock exchange, non-stocks, securities and financial brokerage activities. In this regard, Tadbir Investment researches development, establishment, formation, legal partnerships in capital, stock purchases, construction, renovation, operation, management, maintenance, modification, suspension, accusation, mergers and dissolution of different types of projects, companies and institutions within and outside the country in areas dealing with financial mediation. Web address: www.tadbirinvestment.ir
●Tadbir Energy Development Group Company
This company’s prior name was the Oil and Energy Group. It managed five companies and their subsidiaries with different number of shares, in the past, but now holds eight. This group concentrates in oil and gas exploration and production (upstream), oil, gas, refinery and petrochemical services and the commerce and businesses related to those activities and services.
The Tadbir Energy Development Group Company has invested and participated in the production, transport, utilization patterns, transmission, processing and storage of crude oil, natural gas and other petroleum products and petrochemicals. The company has also been involved in the creation, installation, integration and modernization of office units, industrial, commercial and financial services, as well as extensive engagements in all business activities within and outside the country that deal with its defined sphere of activity. Web address: www.tadbirenergy.net
●Tadbir Industrial Holding Company (Moddaber)
Seyed Hessam Shamsalam, a member of the managing board of Parsian Bank, is the director of the Tadbir Industrial Holding Company. He is the former executive planning and account manager of EIKO and of the Tadbir investment Company, as well.