Setad (short for Persian: ستاد اجرایی فرمان امام, Setade Ejraiye Farmane Emam, lit. "The Executive Headquarters of Imam's Directive") known as The Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order aka EIKO (formerly "ستاد پیگیری فرمان هشتمادهای امام" Setade Peygiriye Farmane Hasht-Maddeiye Emam or "Headquarters for Pursuing Imam's Eight-Article Directive"), is a multi-sector Iranian business organization in the Islamic Republic of Iran, with holdings of 37 companies, and an estimated value in 2013 of $95 billion (made up of about $52 billion in real estate and $43 billion in corporate holdings.) It is under the control of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and created from thousands of properties confiscated from Iranians.
Setad was supposedly created to help the poor and war veterans and was meant to exist for just two years. Almost a quarter-century on, Setad has morphed into a business juggernaut with real estate, corporate stakes and other assets. Under Khamenei, the organization has expanded its corporate holdings, buying stakes in dozens of Iranian companies, both private and public. The organization has been described as "secretive" and "little known".
It is not overseen by the Iranian Parliament, as that body voted in 2008 to "prohibit itself from monitoring organizations that the supreme leader controls, except with his permission". It is, however, an important factor in Khameni's power, giving him financial independence from parliament and the national budget, and thus "insulating him from Iran's messy factional infighting". According to an investigative report by Reuters news agency, the "revenue stream" provided by Setad, "helps explain why Khamenei has not only held for 24 years but also in some ways has more control than even his revered predecessor". Khamenei, judges and parliament over the years have issued a series of bureaucratic edicts, constitutional interpretations and judicial decisions bolstering Setad.
The Reuters report said, there was no evidence that Khamenei was tapping Setad to enrich himself. However the Reuters report noted that it's difficult to pinpoint the organization's total worth because of the secrecy of its accounts. Iranian authorities have stated the findings of the Reuters investigation lack "any basis", are "far from realities" and "not correct," but given no further details. In 2009, British banks froze $1.6 billion in funds belonging to Ali Khamenei's son. According to leaked reports in 2011, Ali Khamenei had $36 billion in bank accounts abroad, and his son Mojtaba had $21 billion in bank accounts abroad. Various other Khamenei family members also was revealed to have hundreds of millions of dollars stashed away in a bewildering array of foreign banks and financial institutions. Finally in 2015, Khamenei claimed he had a personal net worth of only $150 million.
The organization started in 1989 to "manage and sell properties abandoned in the chaotic years" after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Much of its proceeds were to go to assist war veterans, war widows "and the downtrodden." Setad was created to help the poor and war veterans and was meant to exist for just two years. Almost a quarter-century on, Setad has morphed into a business juggernaut with real estate, corporate stakes and other assets. Under Khamenei, the organization has expanded its corporate holdings, buying stakes in dozens of Iranian companies, both private and public. Khamenei, judges and parliament over the years have issued a series of bureaucratic edicts, constitutional interpretations and judicial decisions bolstering Setad.
In 2006, as sanctions against the Islamic Republic intensified, the organization determined that conglomerates such as the South Korean Chaebol helped developing economies grow faster. To make a conglomerate out of Setad, the organization set out to acquire other companies and stakes in other companies. According to Reuters the organization acquired a stake in "a major bank" in 2007 and in "Iran's largest telecommunications company" in 2009. In 2010 it took control of Rey Investment Co, valued by the US Treasury Department at $40 billion that year.
Setad maintains a complex network of front companies and subsidiaries abroad in places like Germany, Croatia, South Africa, the UAE, Turkey and beyond. It stakes in publicly traded companies totaled nearly $3.4 billion.
Reuters reported that petrochemical companies belonging to Setad could benefit from the easing of sanctions stemming from the Geneva interim agreement on Iranian nuclear program.
- Stecklow, Steve; Dehghanpisheh, Babak; Torbati, Yeganeh (November 11, 2013). "Assets of the Ayatollah". Reuters. Retrieved December 7, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Steve Stecklow; Babak Dehghanpisheh; Yeganeh Torbati. "Khamenei controls massive financial empire built on property seizures, (part 1)". November 11, 2013. Reuters. Retrieved 13 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Cite error: Invalid
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- Steve Stecklow; Babak Dehghanpisheh; Yeganeh Torbati. "Part 2: An organization controlled by Iran's supreme leader generates billions of dollars a year, helping to solidify his control over a country hobbled by sanctions". November 11, 2013. Reuters. Retrieved 13 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Exclusive-Khamenei's Business Empire Gains From Iran Sanctions Relief". New York Times. Reuters. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>