According to experts on Iranian affairs, a thorough understanding of the Iranian regime leads to an understanding that its ruling principle, Velayat-e-Faqih, or absolute rule by clerics, is the main source of that regime’s widespread corruption. Working from that principle, the clerics and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have developed institutions with the express purpose of building extremely reactionary views into the main support structure for the Iranian government. Shahram Jazayeri is one of the main beneficiaries and cohorts of Iran’s corrupt mullahs and IRGC mafias.
The same cadre of closely-related individuals have been pursuing this scheme for more than 40 years. As such, they have effectively altered the political and economic systems in favor of their own self-interest. Among the beneficiaries are members of the “Kerman Circle”, a part of the IRGC’s mafia system in the “Republic of Sultans”—in reference to a term used in Iranian state media regarding the heads of corrupt mafias.
Shahram Jazayeri is not only well-connected to notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Iran’s infamous Qassem Soleimani was his business associate in shadow. Before we go into further details on corruption and numerous misdeeds of Shahram Jazayeri, let us first read the following information.
According to National Council of Resistance of Iran:
In January 2014, Yadollah Movahed, the head of Kerman Province judiciary, announced the details of the 13 trillion toman corruption case. In a speech, he explained:
“Taking into account the issuance of unsecured bank guarantees in the amount of 571 billion tomans and also the issuance of unsupported checks in the amount of 12.7 trillion tomans, the financial corruption of Takhti branch of Kerman Tejarat Bank, the total amount of this corruption has reached 13.271 trillion tomans.”
Movahed also revealed that investigators had looked into a number of unsecured guarantees that been received in the Takhti branch of Tejarat Bank in Kerman. The investigation revealed a scheme whereby banks or funds that needed a sum of money would ask the Tejarat bank to deposit the money through an interbank check, after which they would return it several days later. It also discovered that related fraudulent practices had led to a large number of bank guarantees being out of stock within five years.
The news report was a bombshell in the Iranian media, but after a while, like the previous news about embezzlement and corruption, it was marginalized.
Nevertheless, Ali Akbar Emarat Saz, Executive Deputy Manager of Kerman Tejarat Bank, was finally arrested in connection with this case in June 2013.
Who is Emarat Saz?
Ali Akbar Emarat Saz was born on August 24, 1968, in Kerman. After graduating from university, he was employed by Tejarat Bank and rose through the ranks from an entry-level position to executive deputy director.
When Emarat Saz was finally put on trial for his activities in that role, the judiciary established a new process under a new institution, the “Special Court for Investigating the Crimes of Corrupters and Economic Disruptors,” to handle the case. It would take five years before that process led to a verdict in his case.
The Judiciary mouthpiece, Mizan News Agency wrote in a report on his trial on January 24, 2018:
“Abbas Hosseini, the prosecutor’s representative, said in the first session of the trial of Ali Akbar Emarat Saz: ‘In the report to the legal deputy of the Revolutionary Guards dated February 20, 2013, it is stated that CEO of a company has issued six documents of guarantee for 2.95 trillion rials, which turned out to be invalid. The inspector of the Tejarat Bank of Kerman also announced that 52 guarantees have not been registered in the banking system.’
“This means that Emarat Saz has issued a guarantee by ignoring the rules and regulations for issuing bank checks.
“Hosseini added: ‘Also, the accused stated in his confession during the interrogation session that three illegal warranty items have been issued for Mahan Airlines in the amount of 75 billion Tomans.’”
The prosecutor’s representative stated: After handing over a part of Tejarat Bank to the private sector, the accused, as the head of the mentioned branch, was involved in signing 301 checks, of which 204 were in favor of Gharz al-Hasna Resalat Fund, 19 were in favor of Gharz al-Hasna Tawhid Fund, 7 were in favor of Mahan Airlines, and 11 were issued for individuals and legal entities.”
Hosseini raised several important questions:
– Why was the Revolutionary Guards Legal Department engaged in investigating this case?
– What does the issue of corruption of a bank manager in Kerman have to do with the IRGC?
– Why did Emarat Saz issue a surety bond guarantee for Mahan Air?
-What was Mahan Air’s involvement in this case?
The case showed that Mahan Airlines and the IRGC were both trying to exploit huge budgets and revenue sources from domestic banks. Through embezzlement, money laundering, acquisition of people’s property and the creation of cover institutions and banks, Mahan and the IRGC no doubt sought to expand the activities that had brought the airline under US sanctions. It has long been identified as a partner to the IRGC in smuggling operations that also involve a number of militant Iranian proxies in the surrounding region.
Gharz-ul-Hasna, the recipient of the vast majority of the fraudulent checks, is affiliated with Iran’s military and security institutions. Its funds are thus a means of financing their activities, while Tejarat’s conversion of those funds helped to make money laundering easier. This process continued when the Resalat Gharz al-Hasna Fund was itself converted into “Resalat Bank,” leading to an expansion of its activities.
This goes to show that the institutions involved in the Tejarat Bank schemes faced few, if any, consequences. However, Ali Akbar Emarat Saz was finallh sentenced to 25 years in prison on January 3, 2017, after five court hearings.
Do not miss the “Kerman circle”!
What is the story of Mahan Airlines, which was mentioned in the confessions and rulings related to Emarat Saz?
Mahan Airlines is one of the largest economic enterprises of the Kargozaran Sazandegi Party. Mahan Airlines CEO Seyed Hossein Marashi is the cousin of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s wife.
Seyed Hossein Marashi, born on August 28, 1958, in Rafsanjan, Kerman province, is a reformist political activist and spokesman for the Kargozaran Sazandegi Party.
During the presidency of Hashemi Rafsanjani, the governor of Kerman and later the head of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s office, Marashi was Kerman’s representative in the regime’s parliament for two terms. He then went on to found Mahan Airlines.
Mahan Airlines is purportedly a private airline and is headquartered in Kerman. This company was established in 1992 in Kerman and its name is derived from city of Mahan, 35 km from Kerman.
It is an interesting symmetry that can be reached from Tejarat Bank in Kerman to Mahan Airlines from Kerman! But the story is not over yet …
The major shareholder of Mahan Air is the Molla Al-Muwahhidin Charitable Foundation. This institute was established by “Kerman Circle”, ie Marashi and comrades. 100% of the shares of Mahan Airlines and about 50% of the shares of Kerman Khodro belong to Molla Al-Muwahhidin Institute.
Molla Al-Muwahhidin Institute was registered in Kerman in 1987 under the full name of “Mawlawi Al-Muwahhidin Ali Ibn Abitaleb Charity of Kerman Province”. Seyyed Hossein Marashi, the then-governor of Kerman, along with a number of local officials in Kerman province, were the founders of the institute.
Until his death, Qassem Soleimani was a member of the board of trustees of the Molla al-Muwahhidin Institute!
Don’t be surprised! Qassem Soleimani, who was born in Kerman Province, has more connections with Hossein Marashi and Mahan Air than can be believed.
In an interview with Khabar Online on November 16, 2019, Hossein Marashi acknowledged to an interesting point in response to a reporter’s question.
The question: “Why has the performance of Molly Al-Muwahhidin, with all of its holdings and companies, not been reported?
Marashi: “Has the law indicated to whom we should report? Let me say something. We got to a point where I appointed people. I brought Mr. Bahonar as a member of the Board of Trustees. I told him to sign; he would not sign. We asked him to sign. We got the signature of Qassem Soleimani. He was a member of the board of trustees.”
The relationship between Qassem Soleimani and Hossein Marashi, of course, dates back to four decades ago, and the “Kerman Circle” and its longtime comrades have now formed a mafia whose branches have spread throughout the country.