The following is an English-language version of Levant Network research prepared for Akhbar Alaan.
One of Turkey’s largest industrial companies owns a firm in Iran linked to a businessman the US accused of moving money for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force (IRGC-QF), an investigation by Akhbar Alaan has found.
A May 2018 notice in the Official Gazette of the Islamic Republic of Iran reveals that Sayyed Reza Musavifar, who was sanctioned by the US on March 27, was appointed as an alternate board-member of the Razi Petrochemical Co. five months earlier.
The commercial code of Iran specifies that “if due to death, resignation or disqualification of one or more directors” of a company then the alternate director “shall fill the vacancies.”
Akhbar Alaan was able to confirm Musavifar’s identity in the Iranian record by cross-referencing his national identification number with information released to the public by the US Department of the Treasury.
Musavifar has worked with the IRGC Qods Force to transfer money to Lebanese organization Hezbollah as well as Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq, the US Department of the Treasury said in a press release.
The US added that “in 2014, Musavifar transferred the equivalent of millions of dollars of foreign currency to senior IRGC-QF officials,” without going into further details.
Razi Petrochemical Co., which is one of the largest producers of fertilizers and chemicals in Iran, was acquired by Turkish state-owned company Gübretaş in 2008.
In its most recent annual report, published in 2019, Gübretaş said the acquisition of Razi Petrochemical Co. was the “largest industrial investment by a Turkish enterprise outside Turkey.”
Gübretaş maintains controlling power in the operational management of Razi Petrochemical Co., the annual report added.
In 2012, a Gübretaş media official said that his company was encouraging Iranians to do business in Turkey.
“Some Iranian businesses used to work with Qatari and Bahraini banks and they started to look toward Turkey since such countries started to launch the measures against Iran,” Nihat Vuran told Hurriyet newspaper.
Musavifar’s appointment to the Razi Petrochemical Co. board is not his only experience in the petrochemical field. The US Department of the Treasury noted that he is a part-owner of Middle East Saman Chemical Company, which held an account with an Iranian money exchange used by the IRGC-QF.
The US sanctioned Musavifar along with fellow businessmen involved with Al Khamael Maritime Services, an Iraqi front company for the IRGC-QF. Al Khamael Maritime Service facilitated the sale of Iranian oil in contravention of US sanctions, the Treasury Department said.
Musavifar “is responsible for the accounts and finances” of the Iraqi company, according to the US.