Iran Economy NewsIran: Corruption and a Starving Nation

Iran: Corruption and a Starving Nation

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Four years ago, the Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei denied the regime’s corruption in a public meeting, stating, “Systematic corruption? No, that one who sees corruption systematically, he himself is corrupted. They are speaking in such a way as if all are corrupted.”

In a recent interview with the state-run daily Asr Iran on August 31, regime MP Ahamad Reza Bigi spoke about a much broader corruption scheme in the regime’s banking system, compared to the recently revealed corruption in the Mobarakeh Steel company. He said, “When people hear the news of 92 trillion rials of misuse and embezzlement in Mobarakeh Steel, they quickly generalize it to the entire system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

In regards to the corruption in the banking system, he added, “If the report of the investigation of the banks, which is currently being carried out in the parliament, reaches the public’s knowledge, it is not known what consequences it will have about the weakening of the people’s trust in the government and the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Bigi also emphasized, “Our prediction about the corruption and embezzlement of the banks according to the report of the investigation is devastating. The numbers and embezzlement that we are receiving from the (parliament’s) investigation of the banks are much more shocking than those of Mobarakeh Steel.”

In his conclusion, he stated that there is no difference between the regime’s different factions, and both the so-called ‘reformists’ and ‘principlists’ are all involved in this systematic corruption.

Discussing the wider corruption of the regime, which has affected all parts of the country’s economy, the state-run daily Shia News wrote in their August 30 publication that the regime’s housing ‘mafia’ has affected the prices of housing in around 360 neighborhoods of Tehran.

The same day, the state-run daily Eghtesad News confirmed the staggering price increase for housing and wrote, “In small cities, a 70-meter unit has reached one billion rials, the middle and poor classes can no longer afford housing.”

The situation has become so dramatic that state TV has been forced to report it.

On August 28, the state-run daily Sharq rejected Khamenei’s claims about nonsystematic corruption and wrote, “This is not an exception but a rule in private or government companies, and in the structure of the country’s administration. First, this corruption is political rather than economic in nature. That is, it is because of the political construction and distribution of power that such corruption has arisen.”

They added, “Second, the continuation of such a situation will take down all the pillars of power. Third, due to the construction of power in the Islamic Republic, it is only possible to solve this problem with a political will formed by the leaders of the branches. Because others do not have enough power, responsibility, and authority for this great struggle.”

The daily went on to count some of the many reasons for the regime’s self-created corruption, like the government-controlled private sector, multi-currency market, prescriptive pricing, lack of serious supervision, a selective administration that is not based on competence and experience, etc.

The corruption has caused an acute bread shortage and spiraling prices, which has brought people out onto the streets many times. There is no sharper marker of a devastated economy than the price of bread and other basic commodities.

In their August 28 publication, the state-run daily Khabar Online wrote about the devastated economy and gave an example of the situation of the country’s groceries. They stated, “The daily fluctuations in the price of basic commodities have endangered the life of local grocers these days; The grocers who survived until now by credit are about to lose this important income vein.”

Concerning the staggering prices of basic commodities, the daily further added, “This government increased the price of each kilo of rice by 80 thousand rials and increased the price of one liter of liquid oil from 25 thousand rials to 66 thousand rials.”

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