A few days ago the Iranian government completed the process of “privatizing” the Iranian national telecommunications company.
Sounds great right? Less state control, more public sector involvement, free market and all that jazz.
However, a closer looks shows that the majority stake (50% + 1 share), purchased for $7.8 billion, were bought by a consortium that is directly connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Out of the 3 groups contending, one was disqualified by the government for not having the necessary security credentials (read: probably not affiliated with the Guard).
If you are not that familiar with the Guard, here’s some background: The Revolutionary Guard, or in its full name, “Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution”, was founded right after the revolution in 1979 as an independent force loyal to Khomeini, but later became a full military force alongside the regular army.
Here’s what AP describes in their article (link below):