Analysis by PMOI/MEK
May 6, 2019 - The Wall Street Journal on Thursday cited US officials saying the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is considering a more aggressive enforcement of its economic sanctions on Iran aiming to cut off lucrative sources of U.S. dollar-denominated hard currency that Iran uses to finance terrorism.
The new sanctions on banks and businesses would be aimed at choking off trade including Iran's petrochemical sales to Singapore and its consumer-goods sales to Afghanistan.
According to the paper, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh has counted on acquiring $36 billion from petrochemical exports until 2021.
The petrochemical industry has grown considerably during the mullahs’ rule and is essentially controlled by government-affiliated operators. Institutions affiliated to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and the ministry of intelligence (MOIS) use the currency obtained from the petrochemical exports to finance terrorism and fuel warmongering purposes in the region.
Former MOIS chief Ali Fallahian, one of the regime officials involved in the 1994 AMIA bombing that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires, insisted on the export of petrochemical goods from Iran.
“Many people, including Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader were insisting that the country should not be totally dependent on oil. So we decided to build the petrochemical industry in Iran. We had $16 billion income from exporting oil at that time. We planned on the export of petrochemical goods and another $16 billion income came from this. Of course, this was back then, now it is much more,” Fallahian said in a state TV interview.
The Iranian regime planned to privatize the petrochemical industry from 2009. Institutions such as Setad (The Executive Headquarter for the Order of Imam) and the IRGC took control of the majority of Iran’s petrochemical industry. The next step was to sell the products to dealers affiliated to the regime at a cheap price. The money from this would go to the export of terrorism by the mullahs’ regime.
Some of the most important companies and firms playing a central role in the petrochemical industry and in close affiliation to the IRGC and the supreme leader are as follows:
Petrochemical companies affiliated to Setad, Tadbir Economic Development Group holding the majority of shares of dozens of companies:
- Persian Oil & Gas Group
- Social Security Organization affiliated to the IRGC,
- Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Groups, comprising of 15 petrochemical companies in close affiliation to the supreme leader’s assets, and the IRGC.
According to some experts, Khamenei controls over 90% of the petrochemical industry in Iran.
These petrochemical companies sell their products to foreign companies and then transfer the foreign currency and the dollar through exchange companies affiliated to the mullahs’ regime to Iran.
The money provided through these transactions sums up to tens of billions of dollars, then used by Khamenei’s office and the IRGC for suppression inside the country and exporting of terrorism and fundamentalism abroad.
Preventing such activities by companies affiliated to Khamenei and the IRGC through the petrochemical industry is one of the important ways that the US and Europe can stop the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons or exporting terrorism and its malign activities to the region and across the globe.