Iran's revolutionary government has began to try to underpin its charges that the shah is a crook who should be returned for trial by releasing documents that allegedly shown a pattern of corruption involving fruadulent bank loans, use of public property for private gain and apparent official embezzlement.
Iran's chief investigator charged today in releasing some of these records that U.S. banks had made questionable loans in Iran to the shah and his family, and would now use frozen Iranian assets to make these defaulted loans good.
The investigation is in its early stages and still far from organized. By making selected band and government documents available to reporters, Iranian officials hope to attract American public support for extraditing the shah.
Ali Reza Nobari, the 32-year-old governor of the Iranian central bank who is also in charged of the investigation, released the records on U.S. bank loans. He said the documents may be used by Iran to go into court in an attempt to hold onto the Iranian funds.
As one illustration of a questionable Amreican loan, officials produced what they described as records of a 1975 loan by First National City Bank of New York to the shah's sister, Princess Shams. Collateral listed for the loan, officials alleged, included property the Iranian government had taken from private individuals and which thus never truly belonged to the newsmen.
Thus, they said, the bank could not get its money back if it had tried to take the property that had been used as colaterial.
[Officials at First National City Bank could not be reached for comment Wednesday night].
Nobari said Shams' loan was illustrative of many other U.S. bank loans his investigators had discovered, but it was the only one where the documents were made available to reporters.
The first report of the Iranian investigation of the shah, now in its third week, will be made public Friday, Nobari said. He added it might be included with other information in the Iranian presentation at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to justify seizure of the hostage at the U.S. Embassy.
The papers were in Persian and in English, and indicated manipulation of Iranian government banks controlled by the shah and privates one which the Iranian ruler owned through the Pahlvi Foundation.
Despite its name, the foundation operated primarily as a private investment firm for the royal family with charity work a minor concern, Nobari said.
Other documents made available by Iranian officials disclosed:
The Atzas Construction Co. in Iran, controlled by the shah, borrowed about $130 million from the Omran Bank of Iran which was also controlled by the shah through the Pahlavi Foundation. In making those loans, the bank did not require the construction company to put up any collaterial and almost all the money was eventually delivered outside Iran, according to the officials running the current investigation.
To illustrate the money transfer, officials produced documents describing three alleged $5 million transactions with funds going from the Tehranbased bank to the Swiss Bank Corp. in New York in August 1978.
Two months later, when the shah's control of Iran was eroding, the foundation put up as collateral for the Atizas loan its ownership of the Tehran Hyatt Hotel which was valued at about $42-million. That was less than one-third the value of the outstanding loans, officials noted today.
In another Pahlavi Foundation transaction, the government-owned Industrial and Mining Bank of Iran agreed to put up about $22 million over a three-year period to tear down an old Tehran hotel, the Vanak, and replace it with another to be called the Marriott Vanak.
After three years, some $21 million of the loan had been drawn from the bank, according to the document. For that money, the investigators said today, the old hotel had been demolished but only three cement columns had been built of the new facility. They said about $13 million had been traced to an Israeli construction consultant firm whose activities were as yet unknown.