The long business arm of the Iranian state

Chris Wright
Published on:

After the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Shah in 1979 and the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic Republic that exists today, there were a lot of assets the Shah and his followers had left behind as they fled Iran.

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These assets and those of his followers were gathered together as a bonyad, or charitable foundation, originally called the Bonyad Mostazafan and now called the Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution.

It was to be invested in a range of economic sectors with a proportion of profits set aside "for the miserable people: that’s what Mostazafan means," says Behzad Golkar, CEO at Sina Financial & Investment, one of the holding companies within the Foundation.