Corruption of the Shamkhani Family Supported by the Supreme National Security Council – Part 2

معامله منافع ملی با منافع خانواده

Saeed Aganji
6 Min Read
Corruption of the Shamkhani Family Supported by the Supreme National Security Council - Part 2

The negotiations to revive the JCPOA were progressing relatively positively until news emerged about the removal of the name of the Revolutionary Guards from the list of terrorist groups and the removal of the Office of the Supreme Leader from the list of sanctions. Recently, Hassan Rouhani also confirmed this. However, at the same time as the widespread financial corruption of Ali Shamkhani’s children was revealed in various media outlets and the likelihood of security and judicial authorities taking action against them increased, we suddenly witnessed a strange clash and conflict in the positions announced regarding the negotiation process by the spokesperson of the government and the Secretariat of the Security Council. After Biden’s victory in the US elections and the assumption that the negotiations on the JCPOA would resume, it seems that the role of the Security Council in the JCPOA dossier has become more prominent than before.

However, the Secretariat of the Council, under the supervision of the Council’s Secretary, who is simultaneously appointed as the President and, of course, represents the Supreme Leader in the Council, is ultimately considered part of the government. Now, a part of the government takes a strong position against another part and acts in harmony with the hardliners who are against negotiation and the JCPOA, which includes the spectrum of the Revolutionary Guards, the Endurance Front, and appointed security institutions.

This behavior was easily revealed after some time during the economic sanctions, especially in the field of oil sales and petrochemical products, the identification and verification of the qualifications of domestic companies and their affiliated trusts were the responsibility of the Economic Deputy of the Security Council Secretariat, and of course under the supervision of the Secretary of the Council.

The father of luxurious trips, but tainted with corruption and embezzlement with the taste of looting the national treasury, handed over to his sons and corrupt partners who have just entered their prime, expanding their expertise in discovering innovative models of stealing from the pockets of the nation. And now, exactly at the beginning of the JCPOA negotiations and the public exposure of these family corruptions, between the interests of the national revival of the JCPOA and the family interests, choosing not to take legal action against the widespread corruption of his sons and the continuation of looting the national treasury, he had to choose someone. And well, choosing Shamkhani was the easier, more profitable, and family-oriented option.

But after the end of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency, Shamkhani received the reward of harmony with anti-JCPOA security and judicial institutions such as the Intelligence of the Revolutionary Guards and the Judiciary, and remained in the position of Secretary of the Security Council.

The level of corruption by the Shamkhani family and their partners was so extensive that they needed an international corruption and smuggling cartel. To achieve this, they partnered with their shadow associate, who was a former employee of an oil tanker company. After committing petty thefts within the company, he was able to advance his skills in larger-scale thefts. They deceived reputable international traders, such as the Iraqi-British businessman Salim Saeed, who lacked expertise and experience in sales or transportation of oil products, and lured him into this web. They positioned themselves in the shadows and profited from the proceeds of these thefts.

Finally, what had to happen occurred: Salim was monitored by the US Treasury due to his assistance to the Islamic Republic in bypassing sanctions. You can read about how he helped the Iranian people evade the sanctions in the Wall Street Journal, which extensively covered this case and identified the methods and trusted companies involved.

The story of the financial and moral corruption of the Shamkhani family seems to have no end, and recently new cases of corruption by the children of the Secretary of the National Security Council have come to light. However, since Ali Shamkhani has previously auctioned off national interests and has been unable to escape the tainted benefits of power and wealth, the security and judicial apparatuses have turned a blind eye, suppressing the voices of those protesting against injustice in the streets. But Shamkhani and his plundering companions must know that this mill turns in turns, and eventually their turn will come too.

Like the roar of lions that passed and went in the country, these barking dogs of yours shall pass too.

Just as the one who had a horse saw its dust settle, the whirlwind of your donkeys shall pass too.


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Saeed Aganji is a journalist and researcher specializing in Iranian affairs. He has served as the editor-in-chief of the student journal "Saba" and was a member of the editorial board of the newspaper "Tahlil Rooz" in Shiraz, which had its license revoked in 2009.