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The never-ending story of corruption in the Iranian regime

Salar Aghakhani, 28, fled Iran with several suitcases filled with millions of dollars and euros
Salar Aghakhani, 28, fled Iran with several suitcases filled with millions of dollars and euros

Reporting by PMOI/MEK


Iran, August 24, 2019–Iran’s state-run media recently broke news about the disappearance of another government-linked embezzler. Salar Aghakhani, 28, fled the country with several suitcases filled with millions of dollars and euros, money that belongs to the people of Iran.

In the past years, Aghakhani has been closely working with regime institutions, including the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and Ansar Bank (linked to the terrorist-designated IRGC). Aghakhani was the main suspect in a major embezzlement case that also involved Ahmad Araghchi, the former vice president of Iran’s Central Bank and the nephew of the regime’s Deputy Foreign Minister.

The truth is, Aghakhani had fled the country six months ago with a legal passport, carrying with him all the money he had stolen from the wealth of the Iranian people. But his exit became public recently after infighting between rivaling factions in the regime escalated and regime officials started exposing each other’s corrupt ties.

A quick glance at recent news headlines and remarks by regime officials shows that Aghakhani’s story is just the tip of the iceberg of endemic corruption that plagues the Iranian regime in its entirety:

  • Kourosh Karimpour, MP from Firuzabad, addressed Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani, saying, “$14 billion dollars was allocated for the provision of fundamental products, which has a 50-trillion-toman difference with the Nima dollar (exchange rate used for imports and exports). The people and the Majlis (parliament) have the right to know to whom and for what products this sum was used, and what impact it has had on lowering prices and improving the people’s lives.”
  • According to the state-run Mashreq daily, the judiciary should investigate the role of several officials who were involved in wasting $18 billion dollars’ worth of the national reserve.
  • In another story, Mashreq asked Hesam-el-din Ashna, Rouhani’s advisor, “Mr. Ashna, what did you do with the 504 trillion tomans?”
  • Fatemeh Hosseini, another Iranian regime MP, says, “$30 billion of the national reserve has been squandered in the March-September 2018 period.”
  • Another state-run newspaper writes, “A member of the parliament’s Budget and Planning Commission criticized [Vice President Eshagh] Jahangiri’s plan to control the currency market and said, ‘This decision caused the squandering of $21 billion of the country’s national reserve in four months.’”
  • MP Hamidreza Babaei told the Khaney-e Melat news outlet, “The economic bloodsuckers digested $18 billion dollars in a way that can’t be traced. The economic bloodsuckers are easily using the country’s financial resources in their families.”

These “economic bloodsuckers” are the regime officials and their families and their affiliates, like Aghakhani and his ilk, who are now being targeted in protests by the youth, workers, women and all segments of the Iranian society who are fed up with 40 years of tyranny and corruption.