Leon Aharonian, CEO of Seti International Transport Company and founder and chairman of the Andre Meat Products Company, has died at the age of 90. In the third round of the Amin al-Zarb Award of the Tehran Chamber, he received the Amin al-Zarb Award for more than six decades of efforts to develop Iran and entrepreneurship from Massoud Khansari, President of the Tehran Chamber.
Leon Aharonian was born in 1309 in the village of Haftavan in the city of Salmas. His father went to Maragheh during the occupation of Iran during the World War and set up a restaurant there with a friend, but with the formation of a self-governing government in Tabriz (1324), he came to Tehran and opened a restaurant in the capital. Leon and other family members helped their father with the shop. Leon Aharonian’s father cared a lot and wanted his children to be responsible from childhood, so in the summer he started a seasonal restaurant for them in their summer village. All of this made Leon’s adolescence a combination of study and work, to which he added sports and hunting at a young age. Cycling was his favorite sport in high school. He also hunted from a young age until he was 80, and eventually donated his large collection to the Yerevan Natural Museum.
After graduating in 1331, he was accepted to the Higher Art Gallery (now Amirkabir University). After graduating, he was exempted from military service by receiving bail, and in May 1335, he was employed in the Soil Science Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture for 480 Tomans per month; The laboratory was established in collaboration with the World Food Organization (FAO). At the end of 1339, Aharonian went to the FAO headquarters in Rome with his family for a year with a FAO scholarship to complete his specialization, and after a few days he went to the Agricultural Research Center in Wageningen University in the Netherlands and continued his education. In 1341, after returning to Iran, Aharonian joined the group on a part-time basis at the request of his father-in-law, who was the founder of Seti Transportation Company and also operated in the field of mining, hotel management and airline ticket sales. And happened to stand up to the abuse of his father-in-law’s partners. Aharonian resigned from the government in 1347 after 12 years and worked full time in Seti Company. In the same years, he signed a contract with Mitsubishi to transfer gas-fired power plants from the southern ports of the country to the construction site of the power plant. Under a contract with French and German companies, Seti Company purchased four units and two generators weighing 140 and 110 tons each to transfer the equipment of Sefidrood Dam and hydropower plant from the south of the country to Manjil. The cargo weighed about 250 tons with a trailer and a bogey. Seti Company was the first Iranian transportation company that was able to purchase heavy goods vehicles from a French company (cash and loans) and import them to Iran. After that, when a contract was signed with the Soviet Union to build steel and gas pipelines from the south of the country, one-third of the pipeline contract was handed over to a French company, which transferred 42,000 tons of pipes and 20,000 tons of equipment to Seti. They deposited. In addition, in those years, the company was responsible for transporting the necessary equipment to operate the 700-megawatt power plant in Ahvaz (Russian Technoprom Company), equipment for substations in the west of the country (three German companies), etc., and in the most important contract, Siemens. For 35 years, Germany transferred all its shipments in Iran to this company. Due to the foreign contracts that it was able to sign and execute in those years, Seti Company grew very rapidly and in a few years, bought trailers and heavy goods vehicles for several decades. They were even able to get a $ 1 million loan (with a three-year repayment) from France to expand their business and buy up-to-date equipment, including a bogie.
With the victory of the revolution and the start of the imposed war, one of the basic needs of the country was the transfer of military equipment, etc. to war zones, and Seti undertook part of this work for free. Granting the company’s trucks and trailers to transport heavy military equipment such as tanks, hovercrafts, etc. to various war zones was part of the company’s services to the battlefields. In the years after the victory of the Revolution, Leon Aharonian expanded his social and trade union activities due to his economic situation and his presence in the Armenian Caliphate Council (he was a member of the council from 1980 to 1986). From 1359 to 1364, he was the chairman of the syndicate of international transport companies for two terms. Also, the establishment of the Iran-Armenia Joint Chamber of Commerce (1372), the establishment of the first airlines between Iran and Armenia (1369) and, most importantly, the establishment of relations between government, security and religious officials of Iran and Armenia were among the things that Leon Aharonian did for friendship and closeness. Most of the people and governments of Iran and Armenia have done.