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Iran: The High Cost of the IRGC's Economic Might

Share Share Share ShareMore | More Akbar Ganji | December 4, 2013 The IRGCs banking activities are done through Mehr-e Eghtesad Bank, which has also provoked strong protests. Saeedi, Khameneis representative to the IRGC, responded to the protests by saying that the IRGC gets involved only in that part of the economy in which the private sector cannot compete, because it lacks the necessary resources, adding, That the IRGC has replaced German and French companies to carry out some projects is because it wants to protect the Revolution and the state and, thus, such economic activities [by the IRGC] are justifiable. Mehr-e Eghtesad Bank is the holding company for many other major corporations in Iran, mostly in the construction field. Just one such company, Mehr-e Eghtesad Investment Corporation of Iranians, is worth close to $2 billion. Ahmadinejad as the IRGCs blessing angel The Ahmadinejad era witnessed deep involvement of the IRGC in the economy. His goal was to create a cadre of midlevel IRGC officers that own a large number of companies, and that will be loyal to him. Some examples: In July 2007, Khatami Al Anbia received a contract from the government, worth $342 million, to develop the Chah Bahar seaport on the Oman Sea in Sistan and Baluchestan province. In the largest trade in the history of the Tehran stock market, the IRGC bought 51 percent of the shares of Iran Communication Corporation (ICC), worth $8 billion, in October 2009. This provoked strong protests, since at least one private company had been forced to withdraw its bid, and several reports had indicated that it had been forced to do so under threat. The Majles formed a special commission to look into the matter. The commission reported not only the discovery of hundreds of legal problems with the transaction, but also declared that since 90 percent of the ICC capital belongs to the people through the deposits that they had over the years with the ICC, the entire transaction is illegal. The commissions report declared the transaction as stealing peoples private properties. In February 2010, Ahmadinejad asked the IRGC to prepare itself to enter the oil and natural gas domains. Three weeks later, the press reported that the government had awarded several major no-bid oil projects to Khatam Al Anbia worth $850 million. In May 2010 the press reported that Khatam-olanbia had received several other large oil and oil refinery projects worth $10 billion, including development of three of the twenty-eight phases of development of the giant South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, the largest natural-gas field in the world; development and expansion of the Ilam oil refinery in western Iran; and development of some large oil fields. The newspaper Donya-e Eghtesad reported at that time that, overall, Khatam Al Anbia had received oil-related projected worth a total of $15 billion. In February 2011, the Minister of Oil and former head of Khatam Al Anbia, Brigadier General Rostam Ghasemi, announced that a large petrochemical project worth $500 million had been awarded to Khatam Al Anbia. first previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 next last

More by Akbar Ganji Topics: Economics Political Economy Regions: Iran Show full page Login or register to post comments

hoaanhdao (December 4, 2013 - 7:37am) hot topic!! thank for share!! Login or register to post comments

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