Security Printing and Minting Organization

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Security Printing and Minting Organization
FormerlyRoyal Persian Mint
TypeState-owned enterprise
Predecessor24 provincial mints[1]
FoundedJune 14, 1877; 146 years ago (1877-06-14)[2]
FounderMohammad-Hasan Aminolzarb[3]
Headquarters191, Pasdaran Ave.,
Area served
Key people
Amir Shokri (Director)[4]
Production output
800 million banknotes (2015–16[4])
ParentCentral Bank of Iran (Since September 23, 1962; 61 years ago (1962-09-23))[5]
Ministry of Finance (1877–1962)

Security Printing and Minting Organization (SPMO; Persian: سازمان تولید اسکناس و مسکوک, romanizedsāzmān-e towlid-e eskenās va maskuk, lit.'Bills and Coins Production Organization')[6] is a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Iran responsible for design, production and elimination of banknotes and coinage in Iran under the exclusive authority.[7]

Founded in 1877 as the sole national mint (zarrabḵana) of Iran, it replaced multiple provincial mints.[8][9] It was constructed at the place of a former cotton factory in northern Tehran, and used French machinery[10] while the original building was built by the Belgians.[11] Senior Münze Österreich official, Franz Pechan von Prägenberg, contributed to technically operate the mint.[12] In 1931, Germans provided the mint with new machinery.[13]

Iranian banknotes were not printed by the organization until 1982;[14] instead they were outsourced abroad to Bradbury Wilkinson and Company, Waterlow and Sons, American Bank Notes Co and De La Rue.[15] Koenig & Bauer reportedly refused to provide the organization with equipment in 2012.[16]


  1. ^ Rudi Matthee, Willem Floor (2013), "The Politics of Money Supply under Modernizing Condition", The Monetary History of Iran: From the Safavids to the Qajars, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 9780857721723, There were twenty-four known copper striking mints: Astarabad, Yerevan, Hamadan, Herat, Isfahan, Kerman, Maragheh, Nishapur, Qazvin, Shabankareh, Shiraz, Soltaniyeh, Tabriz, Yazd, Isfahan, Kashan, Kazerun, Kerman, Lahijan, Mashhad, Qazvin, Rasht and Tehran.
  2. ^ Rudi Matthee, Willem Floor (2013), "The Creation of a Modern National Mint", The Monetary History of Iran: From the Safavids to the Qajars, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 9780857721723, The official, festive inauguration of the Mint took place a year later, on 14 June 1877, when it was officially opened by the shah [Naser al-Din].
  3. ^ A. Enayat (15 December 1989), AMĪN-AL-ŻARB, ḤĀJJ MOḤAMMAD-ḤASAN, vol. I/9, Encyclopædia Iranica, pp. 951–953
  4. ^ a b Khalid Kazimov (17 September 2015). "Iran spends $33M each year to print banknotes". Trend News Agency.
  5. ^ "Act of Dissolution of the Royal Mint and mandating its duties to the Central Bank of Iran". Article 1, Act No. 1343 of January 12, 1965 (in Persian). p. 536.
  6. ^ Funke, Christian (2016). "Aesthetics and Politics of Redesigning Iranian Banknotes: Arab Wind, the Persian Gulf and the Absence of Nuclear Energy". International Bank Note Society Journal. 55 (2): 40–45.
  7. ^ "No Counterfeit Banknotes Found". Financial Tribune. 15 September 2015.
  8. ^ Rudi Matthee, Willem Floor (2013), "Tradition and Change in the Use of Money", The Monetary History of Iran: From the Safavids to the Qajars, I.B.Tauris, p. 208, ISBN 9780857721723, Before 1877 each major town had its own mint and the coins produced there could vary 10 per cent or more in weight from the national standard...
  9. ^ Ervand Abrahamian (2008), "The Islamic Republic", A History of Modern Iran, Cambridge University Press, p. 40, ISBN 978-0-521-82139-1, The central mint, which replaced the many provincial ones, could now debase the coinage, and thereby provide the government with some extra cash...
  10. ^ George N. Curzon (2013), Persia and the Persian Question: Volume One, Routledge, p. 472, ISBN 9781136992063, These misfortunes delayed for some time the execution of the projected scheme; and it was not till 1877 that the new coinage appeared, a large building on the northern outskirts of Teheran, which had been unsuccessfully tried as a cotton factory, having been converted into the Royal Mint. The establishment, which possesses a German overseer and French dies, and is under control of Amin-es-Sultan, is now the sole mint of Persia.
  11. ^ Faryar Javaherian (2010), "The Evolution of Industrial Architecture in Iran", Workplaces: The Transformation of Places of Production, Industrialization and the Built Environment in the Islamic World, Istanbul Bilgi University Press, p. 82, In addition, the Belgians built a coin mint, or zarrab-khaneh, in Tehran.
  12. ^ Rudi Matthee, Willem Floor (2013), "Tradition and Change in the Use of Money", The Monetary History of Iran: From the Safavids to the Qajars, I.B.Tauris, p. 208, ISBN 9780857721723, Following a formal request for assistance with the improvement of the mint and lengthy negotiations, Franz Pechan von Prägenberg, a high official of the Austrian mint, and a mechanic named Obonya on 13 November 1874 left Vienna for Tehran, where they arrived on 24 January 1875... Fortunately, Obonya was an able and inventive man, and with the help of three other European mechanics passing through Tehran in 1876 he managed to revive the machinery. As a result, the new mint was able to strike new qrans...
  13. ^ Rashid Khatib-Shahidi (2013), German Foreign Policy Towards Iran Before World War II: Political Relations, Economic Influence and the National Bank of Persia, I.B.Tauris, p. 82, ISBN 9781848853249, The Persian parliament had approved on 16 February 1931 a loan to the ministry of trade and industry to meet the capital expenditure required for the establishment of a mint. The machinery and required equipment for this new mint had been ordered in Germany. Moreover, in February 1931 two German experts were appointed to run the operations of the mint.
  14. ^ "A Tour of CBI's Security Printing". Tehran Times. 28 April 1998.
  15. ^ Ali Sharghi (15 December 1998), ESKENĀS, vol. VIII/6, Encyclopædia Iranica, pp. 615–624
  16. ^ Gladstone, Rick (16 October 2012). "Iran Sanctions May Cut Supply of Currency". The New York Times.

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