IRGC’s Economy Mafia
Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
Report by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
October 27, 2017
Airline companies at the service of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)
Mahan Airline is owned by IRGC’s terrorist Qods Force, in the guise of a private company
Iranian airline companies play an important role in Iran's interference in the countries of the region, including the transfer of personnel and logistics for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and proxy militias. The IRGC and particularly its extra-territorial branch the Quds Force use these airlines to transfer IRGC commanders and supplies to those proxies.
Some of the most important airline companies in Iran, including Iran Air (the national airline of the country), Mahan Air Company, Meraj and Caspian Airlines were sanctioned over the years for various reasons, including “special global terrorism” designation, production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the companies’ control by the Revolutionary Guards.
Mahan Air Corporation’s claim of operating as a “private company” is very telling.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran has completed a study on this company, which quickly became one of the largest companies in Iran. The study demonstrates that while Mahan is ostensibly a private company, it has had extensive relationships with the highest-ranking government officials since the company's first days of operation. Both the launch and the expansion of the company has involved widespread use of government facilities.
Among the most significant findings of the report was that Mahan Air Corporation does not merely cooperate with the IRGC and the Qods Force, but is wholly owned and controlled by them.
The study showed that key figures in this company are among senior officers of the Revolutionary Guards and specifically commanders of the Qods Force. Their relationships with IRGC Major General Qassem Soleimani, the notorious commander of the Qods Force precede
Since 2011, there has been an upsurge in Iranian meddling in Syria, following that country’s uprising against the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. Consequently, Mahan has been providing the Qods Force with the means to transfer foreign personnel and agents to Syria, along with equipment for the Syrian regime and for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Trips by IRGC and Qods Force commanders to Damascus are handled by Mahan Airlines.
On January 16, 2016, the Obama administration paid ransom for the release of four US nationals imprisoned in Iran. As part of the same deal, the White House also agreed to release seven of the regime's agents for serious crimes including smuggling equipment for the Iranian regime’s nuclear projects and its missile and bomb-making program, who had been sentenced to years of imprisonment in the United States. The administration also recalled the Interpol red notices for prosecution of 14 regime agents and dropped all charges against them.
The review of the identity of the 14 above-mentioned individuals showed that three of them were senior officials of Mahan Airlines who were indicted for their role in illicit activities, including skirting the US sanctions against Mahan Air.
Contrary to the claims of the mullahs’ regime and its agents, Mahan Co., Iran’s largest airline, is not a private enterprise but a fully state-sponsored company that was founded with government capital and support. Mahan is not alone in this, and due to the policies of the mullahs’ regime especially in the last quarter century, Iran no longer truly has a private sector. Large companies and institutions are controlled by the government and, in particular, by the Revolutionary Guards.
The mullahs’ regime has been trying to exclude this company and scores of similar companies from international sanctions by presenting them as private institutions. It has become clearer now that a large part of the Iranian economy is in the hands of the Revolutionary Guards and its affiliated institutions, and the benefits of economic relations with this regime go directly to the Revolutionary Guards Corps and support its domestic repression and the export of terrorism
and fundamentalism and warfare in the region and in the world. The report concluded that the following steps are necessary:
•Denial of access by the mullahs’ regime, the Revolutionary Guards, the Ministry of
Intelligence, and affiliated companies including Mahan Co. to the global banking system for their role in international terrorism.
•Practical steps to prevent the shipment of weapons and regime forces to these countries, such as a ban on Mahan Airlines and the imposition of comprehensive international sanctions against it and affiliated companies.
•Eviction of the clerical regime from the region and the expulsion of the Guards and mercenaries from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
Airlines at the service of the regime’s regional nefarious policy
In discussing sanctions on the Iranian regime, it is sometimes argued that separating and distinguishing private sector institutions from government bodies is necessary. However, it is almost impossible to follow through on this seemingly sensible advice, given the policies and functions of the Iranian regime.
The regime gave the Revolutionary Guards control over a large part of the country during the last quarter of a century and especially in the last 15 years, under the guise of "privatization". At present, the IRGC dominates over 50 percent of Iran’s gross domestic product, under the umbrella of various companies and some foundations wholly under the control of Supreme Leader Khamenei, such as the Execution of Imam Khomenei’s Order (EIKO). In November 2013, a Reuters report estimated EIKO’s assets at $95 billioni, which some experts assessed as a
Mahan Air Company, a case in point
In addition to providing passenger transportation, Iranian airline companies play an important role in Iran's interference in the countries of the region. These companies have a wide range of governmental communications and support in many ways and the use of the term "private" for these companies is essentially a cover for giving the Iranian regime the right to use them for its own purposes, including the transfer of equipment, logistical support, personnel and so on.
Some of the most important airline companies in Iran, including Iran Air (the national airline of the country), Mahan Air Company, Meraj or Caspian Airlines were sanctioned over the years for various reasons, including “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” (Presidential Executive Order
13224), production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (Presidential Executive Order 13382), and the companies’ control by the Revolutionary Guards.ii According to an assessment, at least eight Iranian airline companies have been placed on the sanctions list.
Some of these institutions, including Iran Air, were removed from the list after the conclusion of nuclear negotiations in July 2015, but Mahan, Caspian, Meraj and Pouya airlines remained on it. The case of Mahan Air Corporation’s operation as a “private company” is very telling.
Mahan Co. was founded in 1991 with four Russian second-hand passenger aircrafts and it began its service in 1992 as
the first private airline in Iran.iii The company, registered in the city of Kermaniv in southern Iran, quickly became virtually the largest airline company in
Iran, both in terms of number of planes and number of passengers. In 2017, the company had a total of 62 airliners with 25 years of experience, while Iran Air, a 74-year-old official airline, had
47 airliners.v In addition to providing domestic flights, Mahan flies to 41 destinations in 24
countries on three continents.vi Among them are Damascus, Beirut, Kuwait, Dubai, Paris, Dusseldorf, Munich, Athens, Milan, Barcelona, and Copenhagen.vii About 15% of international flights from Iran are operated by Mahan Airlines, while Iran Air handles about 8.5%.
In recent years, Mahan Co. has created a complex network of front companiesix in order to help bypass sanctions. This has enabled it to add the most modern and long-range aircrafts available in Iran to its fleet, including the Airbus A340.x Thus, Mahan is the only Iranian airline capable of
flying to far away destinations.
Mahan Air Company’s form ation and ownership
Although this company initially registered as a private enterprise, all evidence points to its extensive relationship with the highest-ranking government officials since the start of the company's first days of operation. Both the launch and the expansion of the company has involved widespread use of government facilities.
The charity institute of Movali al-Movvaheddin, registered in 1997 as No. 68 in the Kerman registration department,xii owns 100% of Mahan Airlines stockxiii. The two main founding members of this institution were Hossein Marashi (Kerman’s then Governor) and Seyyed Yahya Jafari (Kerman’s then Friday prayer Imam)xiv. They brought in15 others, including Hossein Arabnejad, to the institute’s Board of Trustees.
The extensive growth of the Movali al-Movvaheddin institute has been astonishing. The institution is currently a shareholder of more than 30 major economic companies and a major investor in various projects. These include the creation of the Special Economic Zone of the new Citadel (Ark-e-Jadid), the Sirjan Special Economic Zone, Mahan Air Airlines, modern car parts manufacturing units, as well as the construction of airports, hotels, service centers, welfare institutions, and sports facilities. Movali al-Movvaheddin also holds a 50% share of Kerman Khodro and employs about 20,000 people, a quarter of whom work for Mahan Airlines
In 2014, the charity’s assets were valued at 1,000 billion tomans (approximately $350 million)
Occasional public statements by the charity’s authorities suggest that from the very beginning, the institution had government backing and was a private institution in name only. Hossein Marashi, the head of the institute since its inception, has said, "The work we do is generally something that the private sector has not chosen or been able to be implement.”
In 2012, a parliamentarian from Kerman said that over the years, "the state has provided the ground for the movement and the possibility of using state capacities for this complex." He added that the Movali al-Movvaheddin institute had become a wealthy institution that used national resources.i The MP also said that despite the size of the institution, it had never provided
financial disclosures and that “its financial account is a big secret”.
How Mahan Air was launched
The leading figure in the launch of Mahan Airlines was Hossein Marashi, who is well-known in the regime. His cousin is Effat Marashi, the wife of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president and number two figure in the regime who died on January 8, 2017.iii Marashi began his work in Jihad Sazandegi (Construction Crusade), then became the governor of Kerman Province. During Rafsanjani's presidency, he was the head of his office for a while and was subsequently a member of the regime's legislature for two terms.iv During the presidency
of Mohammad Khatami, he was vice-president and head of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Hossein Marashi has described the launching of Mahan Air as follows:
"One day I was sitting in my office. A friend from Dubai called and said a gentleman from Egypt, Ibrahim Kamel, has four planes and wants to establish an airline in Iran and asked if I was prepared to do this in Kerman, and I immediately announced my readiness and agreed... We set an appointment for the next day. I gave the needed instructions to the president of Kerman airport and sat with the Egyptian side the next day in a room in the Kerman airport and decided to establish a joint 50-50 company… The discussions did not take more than 15 minutes and eventually we agreed.”vi
The method of payment for the airplanes was even more unusual. Marashi continued:
"We were informed that the Iranian government during the time of the Shah had given a few loans to the Egyptian government and the Egyptian government was unable to repay the loans to Iran. Mr. Kamel told us that if you could get the agreement of the Iranian side, I would get the agreement of the Egyptian side to give these planes to Iran [in lieu of payment] of the loans. I immediately contacted Dr. Navvab at the Ministry of Economy, and he confirmed Iran's request to Egypt, saying that Egypt has been indebted to Iran for several years, but does not pay. Dr. Navvab agreed to take the planes from Mr. Kamel instead of Iran’s owed repayment. He went and got the agreement of the Egyptian government. We reported to Dr. Nourbakhshvii here and
I also informed Mr. Hashemi.”viii
The relationship of Mahan Co. with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Qods Force
As stated above, the center of the establishment of Mahan Co. is Kerman. The name of Mahan
Co. is taken from a small town called Mahan, located 35 km from Kerman. The company was named by Ataullah Mohajerani, who was then the vice- president for parliament ary affairs and who had been the minister of culture and Islamic guidance during Mohammad Khatami’s first term.ix
The Mahan Corporation was established shortly after the formation of the Qods Force as a centralized force and a foreign organ of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. This does not appear to be a coincidence, given the background of some of the company’s highest officials.
Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani was born in Qanat Malek, Kerman. During the 1980-
88 Iran-Iraq War, he was commander of a newly formed local brigade, and subsequently a division, known as "Sarallah". He retained command of Division 41 until he became the commander of the Qods Force in 1997.
Most of the main members of the Mahan Company have been born in Kerman and most are members of the Revolutionary Guards and specifically commanders of the Qods Force. Their relationships precede Mahan’s founding.
• Hamid Arabnejad Khanouki, born in Zarand Kerman, is Mahan’s managing director and a very close friend of Qasem Soleimani. During the war between Iran and Iraq, he was commander of the armored battalion of the 41st Sarallah Division in Kerman. He was later responsible for Qods Force operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.x
• IRGC Brigadier General Hamid Aslani, who was originally a member of the Revolutionary Guards Corps attack units, was subsequently appointed to the Human Resources Department of the IRGC. At the same time, he was also the Deputy Human Resource Officer of Mahan Airlines. When he became deputy executive officer of the entire IRGC, he resigned his position at Mahan deputy but remained an adviser to Hamid Arabnejad, the company’s managing director.
• Hamid Askari is responsible for food service at Mahan Airlines via a company called Arman. In the early days of the Iran-Iraq War, he joined the 41st Sarallah Division of Kerman under the command of Qasem Soleimani,xi a personal friend. He has also worked in the intelligence division of the IRGC.
• Mehdi Maghfoori, is in charge of Mahan Airlines pilots. He is also from Kerman, and has long been a member of the Revolutionary Guards and has been flying in the IRGC Air Force.
According to some reports, key posts in Mahan Airlines are being handed over to people on the recommendation of Qasem Soleimani through Hamid Arabnejad. According to a relative of
Hamid Arabnejad, the company has employed many of the children of the members 41st Sarallah
Division. Qasem Soleimani's nephew is a pilot at Mahan Airlines.
Mahan, favorite airline of the IRGC and the Qods Force
Since 2011, there has been an upsurge in Iranian meddling in Syria, following that country’s uprising against the dictatorship of Bashar al- Assad. Consequently, Mahan has been providing the Qods Force with the means to transfer foreign personnel and agents to Syria, as well as equipment for the Syrian regime and for Hezbollah in
Lebanon. Trips by IRGC and Qods Force commanders to Damascus are handled by Mahan Airlines.
Qasem Soleimani has arranged for Mahan aircraft to fly over Iraqi airspace in order to reach Syria directly.xii This was arranged through the regime's agents in Iraq, specifically Hadi al-Ameri, commander of the IRGC’s Badr Corps and a mercenary of the Iranian regime since the 1980s.
Mahan runs daily flights from Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz and Abadan to Damascus. These pass through the Iraqi airspace carrying weapons, equipment and Guards to fight against the Syrian people. From Abadan Airport, there are 3 direct flights to Damascus daily, which are mainly carried out by Mahan Airlines.xiii
The company transfers Afghans residing in Iran who have been recruited by the IRGC to be dispatched to Syria. These mercenaries arrive at the Damascus airport in 200-person groups.xiv
The Iraqi militant groups linked to the Qods Force were sent to Abadan by bus via Basra, and then transferred to Damascus with Mahan planes. According to reports collected by the network of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from inside the Revolutionary Guards, several battalions of Iraqi mercenaries from the Qods Force, namely Al-Nojaba, Badr, Katayeb Hezbollah, Asa'ib al-Haq and Hezbollah were sent to Syria in November of 2016.xv These forces, which were commanded by the Revolutionary Guards, were directly involved in the siege of
Aleppo and the killing of the Syrian people.
Mahan has recently been able to acquire three used Airbus A340s from Sri Lanka and Greece through a Kazakh company named Bek Air. It has been reported that at least one of these three aircrafts was delivered to the Syrian airline and was used on the Damascus to Dubai route.
Moreover, it has been reported that Mahan has also provided an Airbus A300 aircraft for use by the same airline.xvi
There are many photographs to confirm the transfer of Guards and particularly Qods Force fighters to Iraq and Syria, by the Mahan Airline.
Sanctions against Mahan Airlines
The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Mahan Air three times since 2011 for shipping arms to the Syrian government, ferrying members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and providing transport for the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
On October 12, 2011, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the designation of Mahan Air pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for providing financial, material and technological support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).xvii
The Department of Treasury stressed: “Mahan Air provides transportation, funds transfers and personnel travel services to the IRGC-QF. Mahan Air’s close coordination with the IRGC-QF – secretly ferrying operatives, weapons and funds on its flights – reveals yet another facet of the IRGC’s extensive infiltration of Iran’s commercial sector to facilitate its support for terrorism.xviii”
Hamid Arabnejad was listed on the list of sanctions on May 31, 2015 by the US Treasury
Department, which said in a statement:
"Hamid Arabnejad was designated according to E.O. 13224 for acting as the Managing Director of the airline for Mahan Air. Arabnejad oversees Mahan Air's efforts to evade U.S. and international sanctions. Arabnejad has a close working relationship with IRGC-QF staff and coordinates Mahan Air's support and services to the paramilitary group. He has also been instrumental in facilitating the shipment of illegal cargo to Syria by Mahan Air aircraft.”xix
The Treasury Department has also sanctioned Avia Trust, which belongs to or is controlled by Mahan Air. In a February 6, 2013 statement the Treasury explained that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had used Avia Trust as a front company to provide airline-related goods and to help avoid customs inspections of Iranian-made goods in the United Arab Emirates.
The department also imposed sanctions on several individuals involved in the same illegal activities. Its statement explained:
"Hamidreza Malekouti Pour has served as regional manager for Mahan Air in the UAE and managing director of Sirjanco Trading LLC and BSA FZE. Malekouti Pour, operating out of Mahan Air's office in UAE, has supplied equipment to the IRGC-QF. Sirjanco Trading LLC was designated according to E.O. 13224 of May 31, 2013, acting for or on behalf of Mahan Air.
"Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard acts for or on behalf of Mahan Air through his actions as the owner of Avia Trust FZE and several other companies engaging in business on behalf of Mahan Air. Kosarayanifard has established agreements with Mahan Air to have Avia Trust FZE serve as a cutout for the repair and overhaul of Mahan Air's aircraft engines.
Kosarayanifard has also established agreements with Mahan Air to manage the airline's cargo shipments and is reportedly responsible for IRGC procurement activities in UAE.
"Gholamreza Mahmoudi acts as a senior executive and corporate director of Mahan Air. Mahmoudi has worked closely with Mahan Air's Managing Director, Hamid Arabnejad, to sanction evasion strategies to acquire U.S. aircraft. Hamid Arabnejad was appointed according to E.O. 13224 of May 31, 2013 for acting for or on behalf of Mahan Air.”
The regime's deal with the Obama administration to halt prosecution of Mahan officials
On January 16, 2016, the Obama administration paid ransom for the release of four US nationals imprisoned in Iran. As part of the same deal, the White House also agreed to release seven of the regime's agents for serious crimes including smuggling equipment for the Iranian regime nuclear projects and its missile and bomb-making program, who had been sentenced to years of imprisonment
in the United States. The administration also recalled the Interpol red notices for prosecution of
14 regime agents and dropped all charges against them.xl
This was the result of 14-months of secret negotiations between the US government and the mullahs’ regime, coinciding with the nuclear negotiations. The US officials involved in the talks stated that they had no doubt that their counterparts in the talks were security officials and that the list of prisoners and would-be defendants was provided US negotiators by the regime’s
The State Department issued a brief statement about the prisoner exchange that did not mention the names or crimes of these 14 people and merely stated that "the United States ... removed any Interpol red notices and dismissed any charges against 14 Iranians for whom it was assessed that extradition requests were unlikely to be successful.”xlii
Three of these 14 individuals were senior officials of the Mahan Airlines: Hamid Arabnejad, Gholamreza Mahmoodi and Ali Moattar. They had been wanted since 2014 in connection with a plot to illegally acquire six Boeing aircrafts for Mahan.xliii The men had also been sanctioned alongside Mahan Airlines itself for a variety of alleged crimes, including using the airline to provide financial and logistical support to Iran's Revolutionary Guard and its paramilitary Qods
Force, which the United States designated as a supporter of terrorism in 2007. Arabnejad allegedly oversaw Mahan Air's sanctions evasion efforts and its provision of support and services
to the Quds Force.
All the above information clearly confirms these facts:
•Contrary to the claims of the mullahs’ regime and its agents, Mahan Co., Iran’s largest airline, is not a private enterprise but a fully state-sponsored company that was founded with government capital and support. Mahan is not alone in this, and due to the policies of the mullahs’ regime especially in the last quarter century, Iran no longer truly has a private sector. Large companies and institutions are controlled by the government and, in particular, by the Revolutionary Guards.
•The mullahs’ regime has been trying to exclude this company and scores of similar companies from international sanctions by depicting them as private institutions. It has become clearer now that a large part of the Iranian economy is in the hands of the Revolutionary Guards and its affiliated institutions, and the benefits of economic relations with this regime go directly to the Revolutionary Guards Corps and serve the domestic repression and the export of terrorism and fundamentalism and warfare in the region and in the world.
•Mahan Airlines does not merely work closely with the Revolutionary Guards and the Qods Force, nor does it merely serve them. The airline actually belongs to the Revolutionary Guards and serves as its executive arm. In fact, Mahan is the private company of the Qods Force and Qasem Soleimani, and is a major player in the regime’s warfare and terrorism. And Mahan is not alone in the ferrying of militants, IRGC officers, supplies and other pertinent activities. Other Iranian airlines such as Iran Air have also contributed to the IRGC’s nefarious activities over the years.
New evidence has surfaced in recent months that Iran Air has been actively used to transfer IRGC forces and its proxy militias to Syria to be deployed in support of the Syrian dictator, Bashar- Assad in the massacre of the Syrian people.xliv
•Unfortunately, the extremely destructive policy of appeasement has only contributed to the development and expansion of Mahan Airlines’ activities, thus demonstrating how this policy has in fact facilitated the mullahs’ regime in advancing its sinister goals. The regime’s policies have only been emboldened by such things as European business deals and the US government’s
decision to drop charges against leading Mahan officials.
As the Iranian Resistance has repeatedly pointed out, it is imperative to adopt a decisive policy and take swift actions to confront warmongering, export of terrorism, human rights abuses and ballistic missile testing of the mullahs’ regime. The fact is that the Revolutionary Guards are the determining factor in domestic repression, the spread of terrorism around the world, the waging of war and slaughter in the region, the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the increase in the production of ballistic missiles. Therefore, all individuals, organs, institutions and companies affiliated with the IRGC should be sanctioned without exception.
Additionally, the following measures are necessary:
•Denial of access by the mullahs’ regime, the Revolutionary Guards, the Ministry of Intelligence, and affiliated companies including Mahan Co. to the global banking system for their role in international terrorism.
•Practical steps to prevent the shipment of weapons and regime forces to these countries, such as a ban on Mahan Airlines and the imposition of comprehensive international sanctions against it and affiliated companies.
•Eviction of the clerical regime from the region and the expulsion of the Guards and
mercenaries from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
“Reuters investigates business empire of Iran's supreme leader”, Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh, Yeganeh Torbati, November 11, 2013.
“Flying Above the Radar - Sanctions Evasion in the Iranian Aviation Sector”, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Annie Fixler, and Yaya J. Fanusie, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, July 2016
This distance is also greater in active planes. In the same year 2017, Mahan had 51 active airplanes, while the number of active airplanes of Iran Air, which is the official national airline, was at that time only 27, that is, slightly more than 50 percent of active Mahan aircrafts.
Flying Above the Radar, Sanctions Evasion in the Iranian Aviation Sector, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Annie
Fixler, and Yaya J. Fanusie, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, July 2016
According to the British High Court, three 747-400s were unlawfully taken by Mahan Air from their real owners, Blue Sky Airlines, in 2008, using forged bills of sale. When ordered to bring the aircraft back to Europe, Mahan apparently claimed they could not do so because they were being investigated by the Iranian authorities for fraud and the aircraft had to be kept in Iran.
Mahan “[operates] in a culture in which complex dealings are conducted at meetings and with little documentation other than emails and handwritten notes of the meetings”, UK judge Justice Beatson concluded in his 2009 judgment .
U.S. Department of Commerce first blacklisted Mahan Air in 2008, after it found the company imported three Boeing Co 747 jumbo jets into Iran without U.S. authorization. Britain’s Balli Group Plc later paid $2 million in criminal fines and $15 million in civil fines tied to the same charges.
The same process was followed on May 9, 2015, to purchase 9 Airbus aircrafts (One A320 for short haul and eight A340 for long haul). But according to the US Treasury Department, this time the regime used an Iraqi regional company, AlNast Airlines, a company registered in Dubai and owned by a Syrian national to circumvent the sanctions.
It has been noted that this institution in a completely complex process! using its influence in the government, seizes more than a thousand hectares (10 million square meters) of Kerman-Mahan lands with a strange contract to create a tourism axis. The contract that concludes with the use of ransom of the presence of the then governors of the province of Kerman in the board of directors of Movvali al- Movvaheddin with 318 hectares of land (3 million and 180 thousand square meters) for free and 700 hectares for a price of 16 tomans per meter. Land sold to the public and government in 2012 at prices of more than 30 thousand tomans per square meter (that is, about 1900 times of the initial price)
Mohsen Noorbakhsh, Minister of Commerce and Revenue in the first Rafsanjani cabinet, 1989-1993, and President of the Central Bank 1981-1986 and 1994-2003.
Same Source. Hossein Marashi in an interview on his memoirs, reiterates that he has launched this airline without any money.
“The Shadow Commander”, Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, September 30, 2013,
21481-mahan-air-is- owned-by-the-iranian-revolutionary-guards-transfers-weapons-and-guards-to-syria-and-must-be- sanctioned
"Iran Caught Shipping Soldiers to Syria on Commercial Flights in Violation of Nuclear Deal," Washington
Free Beacon, Adam Kredo, August 23, 2017