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Iran’s regime loots the country’s wealth as people’s lives spiral into poverty

$4.8 billion gone "missing" in Iran's government assets
$4.8 billion gone "missing" in Iran's government assets

Reporting by PMOI/MEK  

Iran, April 16, 2020—On Tuesday Adel Azar, the Director of the Iranian regime’s Supreme Audit Court, reported in in a public Majlis (Parliament) session new embezzlement and corruption cases of the government of Hassan Rouhani:

  • The government has obtained $4.8 billion in cheap dollars (U.S. dollars exchanged at 42,000 rials as opposed to the 160,000 free market rate) under the title of governmental imports, but the amount has disappeared.
  • In 2018, about 77 percent of transfers to the private sector were not real and there has been a 110 trillion rial deviation in privatization. In other words, the assets were sold to regime-affiliated persons at very low prices.
  • About 241 government managers have received unconventional income amounting to 107 trillion rials. This is while a maximum income of 200 billion rials was adopted for governmental managers after controversies surrounding the stellar income of government officials. But now it is revealed that each of them received 440 trillion rials on average.
  • State banks have earned 26.15 trillion rials from selling their surplus assents and non-bank shares, but they did not deposit it to the national treasury. This amount is not even been registered as increased capital of banks, which more clearly means it has been stolen.

The government had 68 percent deviation in executing 2018 budget, and more than 100 trillion rials were given to unknown people for government currency and were never returned.

These incredible corruption cases were revealed a day after Rouhani posed as being generous because he had decided to cancel a 12-percent interest on a 10-million-rial (approx. $60) loan the government will be giving to the people in the coronavirus outbreak.

These facts, which are just a glimpse of the entire truth, was widely discussed in the society and social media, as well as within the regime. The backlash forced Rouhani to send Abdolnasser Hemati, the president of Iran’s Central Bank to justify the situation on national television. On Wednesday, Rouhani referred to these charges in the government cabinet meeting and lamented that other institutions such as the Judiciary, led Ebrahim Raisi, had not undergone similar audits. In return, Raaisi ordered the the Tehran governor's office to follow up and examine the report of the Chief Auditor.

Rouhani charged that the Chief Auditor's report as "totally wrong," "out of ignorance," and "bad" reports that should not create doubts among the people. He tried to blame his opponents withing the regime by saying:

“why similar auditing is not being done about the financial performance of military organizations, revolutionary institutions and the Judiciary,” Rouhani said in an attempt to vindicate himself. The institutions he referred to, controlled by regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, are largely exempted from oversight and taxes.

Rouhani also said that the government will be Shasta “to the people”.

Shasta is a large holding company with over 1,000 trillion rials in assets. According to some estimates, Shasta is worth approx. $90 billion, and most of this wealth is in the hands of the government. But past experience shows that privatization of government-held Iranian companies ends up putting those assets in the hands of private investors who are closely tied to the regime.

These huge corruption cases and the amounts they involve are just a glimpse of how the regime has stolen the wealth of the people over the past decades. A fraction of these amounts that are changing hands between regime officials in embezzlement cases could easily they could solve a large part of economic problems that have engulfed the Iranian society during the coronavirus outbreak. It also proves once again that the regime is not cash-strapped and its claims and campaign to lift sanctions during the coronavirus outbreak is nothing but a ploy to take advantage of situation to further gain economic benefits.

The relation between corruption and looting in the regime with the lives and blood of the people and the loss of thousands of lives has never been so clear to the public. Now, more than before it is clear, that the corrupt and looting dictatorship of the mullahs is by far a greater enemy than the COVID-19 and any other disease. For this reason, the destructive dimensions of national, natural and health disasters in Iran is not comparable to any other country in the world because of its ruling theocracy’s negligence. They are the cause for Iranian people’s poverty, economic, social and political problems.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: the people of Iran are not begging the mullahs for charity. The Iranian people's wealth, which is stolen by the IRGC, foundations controlled by Khamenei and the Astan-e Quds Razavi endowment, must be wrested out of the mullahs' control and put in the service of health, treatment, and needs of the people of Iran, especially the deprived and the hungry.