The Trump administration ended a decade-long debate in Washington by using the Treasury Department’s anti-terrorism authorities to sanction the entirety of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
But that will not be sufficient if the administration is serious about combatting Tehran on every front. There remains an equally nefarious actor that has built fortunes by exploiting the Iranian people and reports not to the IRGC, but directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Fortunately, Washington has the necessary tools — created by the Global Magnitsky Act — to expose and punish this entity for the corrupt actor it is.
Headquarters for the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order – popularly known as EIKO or Setad (the Persian word for headquarters) – is a massive holding company that has become one of the Islamic Republic’s most infamous economic forces. Established by Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in the late 1980s, EIKO was charged with functioning as a semiphilanthropic organization, using confiscated assets to fund charitable ventures in revolutionary Iran.
But EIKO went off the rails. Today, EIKO has become a vehicle for Khamenei to receive huge sums of money without any oversight, solidifying his grip on the country’s byzantine power structure atop which he sits.
According to a groundbreaking 2013 Reuters report, EIKO is worth an estimated $95 billion dollars and “holds stakes in nearly every sector of Iranian industry, including finance, oil, telecommunications, the production of birth-control pills and even ostrich farming.” EIKO has also amassed a vast real-estate portfolio through what Reuters has described as, “the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary Iranians.” This real estate empire constitutes the bulk of EIKO’s net worth, standing at an estimated $52 billion dollars, Reuters found.
In other words, EIKO is a corrupt government-linked business entity that preys on the Iranian people and, when needed, forces the hand of the (already ailing) Iranian judiciary to get its way.
Pursuant to Executive Order 13599, EIKO was designated by the U.S. in 2013 for supporting sanctions busting and “generating revenue for the Iranian leadership.” But the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal inexplicably removed EIKO – and several of its subsidiaries and front companies – from the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, paving the way for it to ink numerous foreign deals.
To be clear, due to previous U.S. sanctions, U.S. persons may still not trade with EIKO or its affiliates, despite those entities no longer falling under U.S. secondary sanctions. But foreign businesses can, and already have been, signing agreements with EIKO and its subsidiaries. In fact, foundations controlled by Khamenei have been among the main beneficiaries of the JCPOA within Iran.
Source » thehill