Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (FARS)

December 2, 2019

Iran’s first “mega investment fund” with an initial capital of 6.5 trillion rials (about $54 million) was launched on Sunday to help the economy cope with U.S. sanctions.

Most of the initial capital of the fund named Setaregan was provided by state and religious entities such as the Execution of Imam’s Decree Headquarters, Mostazafan Foundation, Astan-e Qods-e Razavi and the Islamic Propaganda Organization, which are controlled by Khamenei.

These entities control at least 60 percent of Iran’s economy and receive government funding but are tax-exempt and can not be audited by the government. The revenues from the companies owned by these entities provides the huge funds at Khamenei’s disposal the amount of which is never disclosed to the public.

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency the other investors in the fund include the Science and Technology Department of the Presidential Office, Azad Univerity, Kowsar Economic Organization (a holding affiliated to Martyr’s Foundation), Etemad Mobin consortium (partly owned by the Revolutionary Guards) and Imam Khomeini Relief Committee as well as Iran’s Mobile Telecommunications Company.

Iranian officials say the fund will provide capital for knowledge enterprises and start-ups which can help the Iranian economy to cope with U.S. sanctions. Knowledge enterprises offer knowledge and knowledge-based products to the market and inject investment to large-scale projects, Hamid Amirinia, an advisor of Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Decree said at the inauguration ceremony of the Setaregan Megafund on Sunday.

Iran currently has more than 4,600 knowledge enterprises according to Sourena Sattari, Vice President in Science and Technology. These enterprises can help the country produce some of the products such as car parts and medical equipment that can not be imported due to U.S. sanctions as well as produce commodities for export, Sattari said.

Radio Farda

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.