From Dean Henderson:
Chase Manhattan issued letters of credit for all Iranian oil exports and monopolized deposits from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), even after Iran nationalized Four Horsemen oil interests to create NIOC.
Chase controlled the Pahlevi Foundation which owned an oil company, twelve Iranian sugar refineries, electronics firms, cemeteries, mines, industrial bakeries, the country’s General Motors franchise and a slew of banks including the Shah’s personal piggy bank – the Bank Omran. While “Omran” means “development”, the Pahlevi Foundation focused only on developing the fortunes of both the Shah and Chase Manhattan.
David Rockefeller, whose family controls majority interest in the bank, chaired Chase, now part of JP Morgan Chase. The Rockefellers added to their fortune during the Shah’s reign, taking in far more oil deposits in the country than it made in loans. By 1978 Iran had become the world’s fourth largest oil producer, supplying 18% of both Japan’s and West Germany’s oil, 50% of Israel’s and 100% of the South African apartheid regime’s. Yet the average Iranian worker languished in poverty.
Other Western banks behaved in similar fashion. This did not go unnoticed by Iran’s Central Bank Governor Al-Reza Nobari, who watched as his country sank deeper into debt while the Shah and his American bankers got filthy rich. Nobari declared, “All the banks knew that the Bank Omran was the Shah’s personal repository for his pocket money. But they went on lending to Bank Omran. Citibank lent, for example, $55 million to (the Shah’s sister) Princess Ashraf for a housing project. On the site of the housing project she built a palace.”
The Shah bought a share in Krupps, the huge German arms manufacturer. He owned numerous hotels in Tehran, houses in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, Acapulco and the Swiss Alps. He bought entire islands in the Seychelles and owned a race …