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Mobarakeh Steel would have been a nonstarter had not been for Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s support

Erfanian offered condolences on the demise of Ayatollah Rafsanjani to Iranians, especially the industrialists, and said to implement the Mobarakeh Steel project the key players of the country’s industry sector were looking for somebody who could take fundamental measures in the national economy, and back then they found nobody better than the late Ayatollah Rafsanjani. “He could help us because he had close ties to the late Imam Khomeini and at the same time he held sway in the Islamic Consultative Assembly,” according to the correspondent of Steel Newsletter.
He further said that Ayatollah Rafsanjani was one of the most intelligent and wisest managers of the country’s executive system, both before and after the revolution. “As far as the country’s economic and industrial drive was concerned, his innovation and creativity set an ideal example for development. Thanks to his fatherly compassion and pursuit of lofty objectives, the late ayatollah, who was very humble, was able to tolerate the barrage of accusations on many occasions.” 
As for the launch of the company, Erfanian said, “The passage of a single-article law marked the start of operations to complete the Mobarakeh Steel project. Under the law, we could not construct Mobarakeh Steel or factories like that beyond the letter of the law. In other words, the implementation of such projects was against the law at that time. Ayatollah Rafsanjani supported this project by altering the law.
“The project got off the ground with limited budget. In the first five years, support by Ayatollah Rafsanjani helped those in charge to go ahead with the project’s construction and infrastructure phases. In the final months of his presidency, parliament asked me to lay out the general outlines of the Mobarakeh Steel project. I did present a report to the chamber and MPs overwhelmingly decided that the project become operational after they listened to the strategies cited in my report. Ayatollah Hashemi lent full support to the project.”
During his presidency, the budget for Mobarakeh Steel construction increased to 70 billion tomans from a previous 40 billion tomans, Erfanian said, adding, “Later, Ayatollah Rafsanjani said some 20 billion tomans – compared to the previous 2 billion tomans per year – would be allocated to the project each year provided that it became operational by 1993. The decision contributed to the company’s efforts in transferring technical knowhow and carrying on with the construction phase. Finally as many as 18,000 people as part of 200 contracting companies started to work on the project. At that time nobody believed that Mobarakeh Steel could be built and some even said that the construction of Mobarakeh Steel amounted to a waste of public funds.”       
When Ayatollah Rafsanjani paid a visit to Mobarakeh Steel, he highlighted the need for the launch of the complex, he said, adding, “The company was inaugurated in 1993 and that was when the ayatollah said that with the launch of Mobarakeh Steel Company I realized that Iran has capabilities some of which even escape the attention of its president. He said, ‘Affected by the launch of Mobarakeh Steel, I can sit in my office today and see major change in the country’s industrial landscape, that is, the transfer of knowledge and self-belief in the country’.”   
The manager characterized as undisputable the influence of Ayatollah Rafsanjani in the formation of Mobarakeh Steel and said, “Mobarakeh has achieved what it has courtesy of the special attention by Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani who was at the helm of the team steering the project. His views set the stage for us to embark on such measures. In the real sense of the word, this great man was instrumental in the implementation of many giant economic projects in the country. He was ready to enter into talks with other parties to earn the country yet another source of pride through his own strategies. He was very influential in Mobarakeh Steel Company’s completion.”        
Erfanian went on to say, “I should admit that Mobarakeh Steel would have been non-existent had it not been because of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani. We may have been powerful enough to implement this project, but we needed a person who could draw on his extraordinary executive powers to support the project and Ayatollah Hashemi did it perfectly.”   
In conclusion, he said the loss of Ayatollah Rafsanjani amounts to irreparable damage for the country’s industry sector and development drive and expressed hope that the giant Mobarakeh Steel Complex which came to fruition thanks to Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s support can continue its operations, powerfully and efficiently.

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