While everyday Iranians struggle to survive in an economy crippled by international sanctions, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “controls a business empire worth around $95 billion.”
This makes Khamenei a one-percenter whose individual worth exceeds “the value of [Iran’s] current annual petroleum exports.”
According to Israel National News, Khamenei accrued this wealth through a “little-known organization called Setad.” This group “holds stakes in nearly every sector of Iranian industry… [including] the finance, oil, telecommunications, and even ostrich farming sectors.”
The group also makes money by claiming title to abandoned properties “in the name of the supreme leader.” There is concern that some of the property is not actually abandoned before claims of abandonment are filed.
In June, the U.S. Treasury Department “imposed sanctions on Setad and some of its corporate holdings.” The Treasury Dept. referred to the group as, “a massive network of front companies hiding assets on behalf of… Iran’s leadership.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.