January 22, 2011
IRAN BRIEFING EXCLUSIVE: Following the economic downturn in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai, and from where the IRGC made huge investments in Dubai’s economic, real estate, and financial sectors, this organization has now shifted its assets and economic activity from Dubai to Southeast Asia.
Malaysia and Macau are the two places where the IRGC now concentrates its economic activities, investing in banks and trade towers in Malaysia, especially Kuala Lumpur. The IRGC invests in the casino, Red Light and brothel business in Macau, an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
This industry is very new in Southeast Asia. After successful growth in China, it has taken hold in this region. Since Macau is very close to China, it is a paradise for investment in this sort of trade.
Why the casino?
China has about one billion people in the workforce and a growing middle class. Thus, as logic goes, if the middle class has a little capital, then there must be a vacation spot to spend its money (Until a few years ago, people in general considered vacation exclusive, work their only obligation and wealth unimportant). Yet Macau now has become a place for getting their money, and this mandate has in Southeast Asia made it bigger than Las Vegas. Macau is deemed a threat to Las Vegas, and in this respect our brothers in the IRGC have a lucrative opportunity.
An Iranian is in charge of directing the cash flow from Dubai and Turkey to Macau. This individual known as Haj Safdar Minamand (whose real name is Seyyed Javad Zavarei) is the IRGC’s second general and is a first degree relation to Seyyed Reza Zavarei. Reza Zavarei was one of the kingpins of the Islamic Republic: he was the first Tehran Revolutionary Court public prosecutor, advisor to the Interior Minister (Hashemi Rafsanjani), Head of the National Security Council, the Tehran representative in the Majlis (1981-1987), a legal expert and deputy to the head of the Guardian Council (until 2005), Head of the National Registry and Assets Organization (1989-1997), Presidential candidate in 1989 in the third, fourth, and seventh rounds.
But General Javad Zavarei, in addition to building casinos and hotels, as well as some tourist, leisure, and cultural centers, also works to project an image.
One of the local experts in the real estate affairs believes that Iran has invested up to one billion dollars in Macau but adds that some of these investments were under and sometimes one place could be bought and sold 3.2-10 times in one month—even if there is no record available about the exact amount of inflow investment. All these activities are conducted in the name of business, done under unknown circumstances.
According to some unconfirmed statistics, the IRGC until now has invested up to 20 billion dollars in this region.
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