(Reuters) - Since Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program, foreign companies have sealed at least nine deals with companies in which entities controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, including Setad Ejraiye Farman-e Hazrat-e Emam, have large or majority stakes. Financial terms have not been disclosed on all. Here are those deals whose terms are public.
In May 2016, South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. announced it and Hyundai Engineering and Construction had agreed to build a $10 billion oil refinery on Iran’s southern coast. The company developing the refinery, Bahman Geno, is owned by a Setad unit, Tadbir Energy. A Daewoo official said the agreement was preliminary and that nothing had moved forward since May. A Hyundai spokesman said the deal is still being negotiated, and declined to comment on Setad. A Bahman Geno official said the sides are still conducting negotiations. A Tadbir executive declined to comment. Setad said in a statement the memorandum of understanding governing the deal has expired.
Also in May 2016, South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. signed a preliminary $1.5 billion deal for a highway between Tehran and northern Iran. Iran’s roads ministry and Bonyad Mostazafan, an Iranian foundation controlled by Khamenei, are partners in the Tehran Shomal Freeway Co. (TSFC), which is in charge of the project. A Daewoo official said the deal was preliminary and nothing had been discussed since May. A source familiar with TSFC affairs said the project is in the technical study phase and no final contract has been signed.
Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk signed a deal with Barakat Pharmed Co. in June 2016 to build a manufacturing plant for insulin pens in a specially developed industrial site. Barakat belongs to Setad. Novo Nordisk said earlier it would make a 70 million euro ($75 million) investment. The choice will allow Novo Nordisk to access infrastructure and transportation and create jobs, a Novo Nordisk spokeswoman said. A Barakat official, Nasrallah Fathiyan, said Khamenei doesn’t own the company but supervises it, “so that everything goes smoothly.” Setad said the agreement was a contract to give the company land for the plant rather than a business deal.
Iranian media reported in March 2016 that Barakat Pharmed had signed a $15 million deal for Spain-based pharmaceutical company Chemo Group to buy a 65 percent stake in a Barakat subsidiary. A 2016 Barakat annual report states that 65 percent of shares of Ati Pharmed, previously owned by Barakat and Alborz Investment Group, a Barakat subsidiary, were transferred to Chemo. A person familiar with Ati Pharmed affairs confirmed the transfer. Chemo officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Italferr, a unit of Italy’s Gruppo FS Italiane, said in March 2016 it had signed a four-month, 700,000 euro consultancy contract with Iran’s state railway entity on a high-speed rail line. Iranian officials have said Khatam al-Anbiya, an IRGC subsidiary sanctioned by the United States, is the Iranian contractor on the project. Italferr named only Chinese company China Railway Engineering Corp. (CREC) as the contractor, and did not mention Khatam al-Anbiya. Officials with Italferr, CREC, and Khatam al-Anbiya did not respond to requests for comment. The IRGC declined to comment.
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Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin and Babak Dehghanpisheh, Isla Binnie, Yun Hwan Chae and Brenda Goh; Edited by Sara Ledwith