The Undercurrents of Corruption in the Shamkhani Family / Part One

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Shamkhani’s special case was reviewed and published by Saeed Aganji on the Iran Gate website on June 29, 2023. You are currently reading the English version of this article. Original news link.

The Undercurrents of Corruption in the Shamkhani Family. According to Iran Gate’s report, the sudden resignation of Ali Shamkhani from the position of Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council was accompanied by many controversies. Many believe that the reason he bid farewell to this sensitive post after ten years is the exposure of widespread corruption that is ongoing within the Shamkhani family. A corruption in which the traces of Ali Shamkhani’s closest relatives are evident and has involved billions of dollars in financial transactions.

The controversies surrounding the family of Ali Shamkhani, the former Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, have consistently made headlines in both domestic and international media in recent months. Among them, the role of Hossein Shamkhani, the son of Ali Shamkhani, stands out more prominently than other family members. Iran Gate has conducted an investigative report to delve deeply into this issue and has examined its various dimensions. In the first part of this report, an introduction to the Shamkhani family has been provided.

Who is Ali Shamkhani?

Ali Shamkhani was born on September 28, 1955, in Ahvaz, where he also completed his primary education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering, a master’s degree in Management from Jundi Shapur University, and a doctorate in Military Strategy from the National Defense University.

Shamkhani also has a history of imprisonment under the Pahlavi regime. In 1973, at the age of 18, he was arrested by SAVAK (the Shah’s secret police). After his release, he, along with a few others, formed a guerrilla group called “Mansouroun”. In prison, he became acquainted with figures who later played significant roles in the revolution, one of the most notable being Mohsen Rezaei.

After the victory of the revolution in 1979, Shamkhani joined the Revolutionary Committee. He then joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and in 1980 was appointed as the commander of the IRGC in Khuzestan. It’s worth noting that the IRGC of Khuzestan played a crucial role during the eight-year imposed war against Iraq. The Shamkhani family also played significant roles on the frontlines, so much so that Mohammad and Hamid Shamkhani, two brothers of Ali Shamkhani, were martyred in 1980 and 1981, respectively.

In 1981, Ali Shamkhani was appointed as the deputy commander of the entire IRGC. He continued in this role until 1986 when he also took on the responsibility of commanding the IRGC’s ground forces.

After the passing of the Islamic Republic’s first leader, in 1989, on the orders of Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the then-leader of the Islamic Republic, Shamkhani, with the rank of Major General, joined the Islamic Republic of Iran Army and was appointed as the commander of the Navy. He continued in this role until 1997 when he was introduced to the seventh parliament as the Minister of Defense by President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and gained their vote of confidence. Although he ran as an electoral competitor against Seyyed Mohammad Khatami in 2001, he still joined Khatami’s second cabinet (eighth government) as the Minister of Defense.

With the advent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government, Shamkhani stepped aside from the government and took on peripheral roles. However, in September 2013, by the decree of Hassan Rouhani, the then-president, he replaced Saeed Jalili as the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, a position he held until April 2023.

Shamkhani has apparently married three times, but his first wife is Azarmidokht Tabatabai, who is the mother of the four eldest Shamkhani children. Ali Shamkhani is the father of Fatemeh, Zeinab, Hossein, and Hassan. Some sources claim that he has another child from one of his other two wives.

Who is Hossein Shamkhani?

Hossein Shamkhani is one of Ali Shamkhani’s children and his eldest son. Hossein has been the most controversial member of the Shamkhani family, with numerous scandals surrounding him and his alleged economic corruption cases being reported in the media. The most significant documents revealing Hossein Shamkhani’s malpractices were published by Saeed Aghangi, an Iranian journalist, which elicited reactions from the Shamkhani family. Mehdi Nasiri, the former editor-in-chief of the Kayhan newspaper and a conservative journalist, has also made statements attacking Ali Shamkhani, accusing Hossein of stealing oil money.

Exact details regarding Hossein Shamkhani’s birth year are not available, but according to information obtained by Iran Gate, he is approximately 40 years old as of June 2023. It appears that Hossein is a graduate of the American University of Beirut. He has a notable footprint in various cases, including the case of the seized ship “Admiral,” which was dissolved (Admiral Company) after the news of its seizure was released. Subsequent sections will delve into the detailed role of Hossein in various cases.

Who is Azarmidokht Tabatabai?

She is the first wife of Ali Shamkhani and the mother of his four eldest children. Azarmidokht’s name first appeared in the media when the Elahiyeh property case in Tehran was publicized by domestic journalists. According to a video published by Mehdi Sadralsadati in 2021, Ali Shamkhani’s first wife owns a luxury apartment complex in Fereshteh Street, Tehran.

Moreover, Azarmidokht Tabatabai’s footprint is also evident in the Lavasan villas case. Although Ali Shamkhani’s son-in-law’s role in this case is more prominent, the former Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council’s first wife was also involved.

Who is Hassan Shamkhani?

Hassan is the second son and the youngest child of Ali Shamkhani from his first wife. Hassan’s activities are not as extensive, but he first came into the media spotlight in connection with the dissolved Admiral company, which owned the Admiral ship. Precise details about him are not available, but it seems that after the Admiral incident, Hassan took a backseat, and Hossein Shamkhani assumed a more prominent role. The only information available about Fatemeh Shamkhani was published by Saeed Aghangi. A photo of Fatemeh (Setayesh) was also released by this Iranian journalist on Twitter, which garnered widespread reactions.

Ali Shamkhani’s Daughters and Sons-in-law:

Ali Shamkhani has two daughters named Fatemeh and Zeinab. The only available information about Fatemeh Shamkhani is that she resides in England. It’s also mentioned that she prefers to be known as Setayesh instead of Fatemeh.

However, Zeinab is the other daughter of Ali Shamkhani and Azarmidokht Tabatabai. Zeinab was married to Seyyed Amir Hassan Mirmohammadali and is more well-known than Fatemeh (Setayesh). The cases in which Zeinab Shamkhani intervened are tied to the Mirmohammadali family members. One of these cases relates to the Caspian and Fereshtegan financial institutions, which led to the freezing of billions of dollars in Zeinab’s accounts.

In this case, a picture of the passport of Zeinab’s son, Ali Shamkhani’s grandson, born in 2015, was released. In 2018, an image of a decree was published in the media, showing that the bank account of Ali Shamkhani’s grandson, with a balance of over 9.5 billion Tomans, had been frozen. Other documents were also released on social media, indicating the ownership of several villas in Lavasan in the name of Ali Shamkhani’s grandson.

Other Relatives of the Shamkhani Family:

Numerous controversies surrounding other members of the Shamkhani family have been reported in the media. Among the most significant and well-known are Abdolazim Shamkhani, Moeoud Shamkhani, and Naji Shamkhani.

Abdolazim Shamkhani is Ali Shamkhani’s half-brother, whose name, alongside Moeoud Shamkhani, became associated with the Metropol building case in the media. Abdolazim is the former CEO of Ahvaz Municipality’s Beautification and the former deputy mayor of Ahvaz. This is noteworthy because, according to Sadralsadati, he only held a diploma and was not qualified for such specialized responsibilities.

Moeoud Shamkhani is one of Ali Shamkhani’s nephews. His name came up in connection with the tragic Metropol building incident. At the time of the Metropol disaster in Abadan, Moeoud was the technical deputy of the Arvand Free Zone Organization. However, his collaboration and partnership with Hossein Abdolbaqi, the owner of the Metropol building, became highly controversial.

Naji Shamkhani is Ali Shamkhani’s cousin. Pictures of him wearing an Arab dishdasha have been circulated on social media. Naji was the director of the “Iranian House” company, responsible for several projects in the Arvand Free Zone. His name was known even before the Metropol tragedy, but after the tragic collapse of the Metropol building in Abadan, Naji Shamkhani’s name once again appeared in the media. It is said that Naji, in collaboration with Hossein Abdolbaqi, the owner of the Metropol building, has executed many projects in the cities of Abadan and Ahvaz.

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