[Marxism] Reuters Investigates - Assets of the Ayatollah

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 11 08:09:13 MST 2013


Khamenei controls massive financial empire built on property seizures

By Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Yeganeh Torbati

The supreme leader's acolytes praise his spartan lifestyle, and point to 
his modest wardrobe and a threadbare carpet in his Tehran home. Reuters 
found no evidence that Khamenei is tapping Setad to enrich himself.

But Setad has empowered him. Through Setad, Khamenei has at his disposal 
financial resources whose value rivals the holdings of the shah, the 
Western-backed monarch who was overthrown in 1979.

How Setad came into those assets also mirrors how the deposed monarchy 
obtained much of its fortune - by confiscating real estate. A six-month 
Reuters investigation has found that Setad built its empire on the 
systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary 
Iranians: members of religious minorities like Vahdat-e-Hagh, who is 
Baha'i, as well as Shi'ite Muslims, business people and Iranians living 
abroad.

Setad has amassed a giant portfolio of real estate by claiming in 
Iranian courts, sometimes falsely, that the properties are abandoned. 
The organization 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 seeks to extract payments from the original owners.

full: http://www.reuters.com/investigates/iran/#article/part1




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