Following the month of devastating floods that swept more than 28 provinces of Iran, The Islamic Republic of Iran has no clear plans to resolve the crisis. The only promotional measures are the use of government, media, each giving hollow promises to people.
Ahmad Maravi, Custodian of Astan Quds Razavi paid a visit to the Golestan Province’s flood-hit areas, North East of Iran, which only ended with unreal promises, last week.
What is Astan Quds Razavi?
Astan Quds Razavi is the largest religious foundation and one of the largest economic enterprises and, in fact, an economic empire in Iran. A major Shiite holy shrine in the North Eastern Province of Khorasan.
The Massive wealth of the Astan Quds Organization was formerly under control of the founder of the Islamic Republic, then Khamenei. In a letter dated April 89, Khomeini declined to pay tax on Astan Quds and all companies and institutions affiliated with it in the months before his death. But, since it was challenged by the Ahmadinejad government and either by the government of Rouhani in the following years, Khamenei intervened and wrote in a letter dated December 5, 2016, stating that according to Khomeini’s decree, the income of the Astan Quds and also, Companies and their affiliated companies are exempt from tax.
The assets of the Astan Quds Organization are most of the land and buildings that believers have donated for The Imam Reza shrine in City of Mashhad (also known as Astan-e Razavi), North East of Iran.
It is worth it to note that the Astan-e Quds, in not only Khorasan, but it also owns the land, parks, wells and water resources throughout Iran. It seems that more than 43% of the 31,000-hectare area of the major city of Mashhad is dedicated to Razavi’s shrine. But, Astan Razavi has earned a lot of land in the City of Sarakhs, North East and fields of Qazvin and Abyek in Tehran.
Residents of Sarakhs gathered to protest against the government agencies on the seizure of their private lands by the Astan Quds Razavi for 92 times between 2009 and 2013.
Financial experts were estimating assets of Astan-e Quds Razavi at least $15 billion in starting the year in 2001.
With the help of its religious and political power, Astan Razavi’s economic organization was able to win large-scale government projects away from the competition.
It seems that the Razavi Oil and Gas Development Company was one of the first non-state companies to receive a quote from Iran’s Petrochemical Company at the end of 2010, and then received a tender offer from the National Iranian Oil Company for the purchase of crude oil. Razavi’s Oil and Gas Co. is also active in the production of LPG and Super Petrol in the Sarakhs Special Economic Zone.
In November 2016, Khorasan Razavi Governor’s Office handed over five large construction projects to Astan Quds without a tender and based on a joint agreement.