IFIC, is the main foreign investment arm of the Iranian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance (MEFA). IFIC’s main subsidiary is a company called IFIC Holding AG (IHAG), located in Dusseldorf, Germany. While IFIC financial activity spans the globe, its main focus is Europe, particularly in the Industrial and mining sectors, but it also heavily invests in well-known commercial corporations. Through the activity of IHAG and IFIC, Iran reportedly owns shares in important companies such as Adidas, British Petroleum, ThyssenKrupp, Siemens and many other prominent corporations and other well-known brands.
According to its own website, IFIC’s main role is to attract and conduct foreign direct investment on behalf of the Iranian government. Moreover, the company does not only invest on behalf of the Iranian government, it also invests funds of companies directly owned by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
As part of its mode of operations, IFIC uses Iranians who reside in Europe, particularly in Germany to carry out its illicit trade and business. The company’s activity did, however, attract the attention of US authorities who decided to place IFIC and IHAG under sanctions already in 2010.
Once the US decided to pull out of the Nuclear Agreement and reimpose sanctions on those Iranian entities that were taken off the sanctions list following the signing of the Nuclear agreement the Iranian regime activated one of its emergency plans devised for such an occasion.
The plan called for the activation of a financial network that through a series of subsidiaries, mergers and acquisitions hides IFIC’s Iranian identity. The mastermind behind this plan was Vahid Mahmoudi, a prominent member of Iran Foreign Investment Company (IFIC), is probably one of the more unknown yet most sophisticated financial figures of the modern Iranian era. He was a rising star in the university, everybody’s prodigy and the regime’s ultimate choice to develop and enhance Iran’s financial capabilities, especially its ability to circumvent sanctions.
As a result, instead of the designated IFIC and IHAG we now have seemingly innocuous companies called EIC, Denamond and Rheinbach. But, as the timeline below shows, a closer look at these companies shows that the same people use the same money to run the same scam.
The fruits of Mahmoudi’s labor means that Iran now controls a financial and commercial network in Europe, that not only allows it to carry out seemingly legitimate purchases that are in fact in violation of the sanctions’ regime. Even worse, it allows the IRGC to go on a shopping spree and purchase any components, material or piece of equipment that it requires for its nuclear and missile projects. This last is compatible with Khomeini’s own vision for the company’s true purpose.
What needs to raise alarms in Germany, is that in order to maintain this illicit financial network, Iran used the German stock exchange to funnel money to their companies. One would like to believe that the Germans and Swiss would know better than letting the Iranians play dirty with the pillars of their economy.
2010 – Iran invests heavily (probably through IFIC?) in a German company traded in the local exchange named Hansa Group AG. This investment produces almost 600% rise in value for this stock in only one year. Alambeigi Khodayar, an Iranian with German citizenship, is running Hansa.
2011 – Hansa invests 12 million shares in a swiss company, at the time 50 million Euro. The company name is European Investment Company (EIC), just a vehicle for the purpose. The company is held by the same Alambeigi Khodayar and Vahid Mahmoudi (a board member of IFIC).
2018 – IFIC is merged with IHAG and the CEO of IHAG, Parviz Mardani establishes another company instead, namely Parsimmo (early 2019) only to change the name into something more German and less suspicious, namely Rheinbach Investment GmbH.
IFIC – Operational Scheme
IFIC’s General Assembly
IFIC – Country distribution of assets