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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Things are looking up for David Mills

Corporate lawyer David Mills may be going through a tough time in Italy but it seems his star may not be waning elsewhere. One of his other long term clients, ILTC, an Iranian company manages investments on behalf of the Rafsanjani family. Indeed one of former President Rafsanjani’s sons works for Finco, an ILTC subsidiary in Dubai.

Why is this such good news? Well ex-President Rafsanjani, who many have considered to be a leading power figure despite his retirement, has just been appointed as head of the Assembly of Experts. In the arcane world of post revolutionary Iranian constitution the Assembly of Experts oversees the Supreme Leader (not all that Supreme then), who in turn can overrule the President (who thus sits lower than the gods, not surprising because he was the Ken Livingstone of Tehran).

What this means for Mills and his friends are more lucrative contracts. They are big investors in Mahan Air, nominally the second airline in Iran, but the fastest growing because it has better access to foreign routes and none of the forced employment practices of Iran Air. Likewise, construction contracts and the all important access to foreign exchange for the purchase of food and commodities will flow more easily to Mr Rafsanjani's friends in the bazaar.

Things are indeed looking up for David Mills.