By Jubin Katiraie
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, one of Iran’s main figures in repression and warmongering, and one of the heads of the theft and looting in the Iranian regime were appointed as the speaker of parliament on 28 May, in a hasty move.
The manner and haste of Qalibaf's appointment as the speaker of the parliament was an unprecedented event in Iran that has also attracted the attention of the regime's elements.
The state-run website Etehad on 29 May wrote about his appointment: “Now, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf is the head of the legislature ... who wants to fight corruption. The important question is, is it possible to clean glass with a dirty napkin? Can a person accused of corruption be the center of the fight against corruption? Over time, of course, everything will be clear.”
The upcoming facts below are just some samples of the regime’s media in the past years against him as one of the key members in theft and looting which were collected by this website:
- Rumors of corruption have not been erased from the new parliament speaker.
- The Memari News website claimed for the first time that the Tehran Municipality claimed that during the tenure of Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf he ceded to some municipal managers, members of the city council, a member of parliament, a law enforcement official and several security officials in northern Tehran, properties with astronomical prices with 50% discount and in many cases, the real estate expert price is estimated to be lower than the actual rate and for the remaining 50 percent of the payment, large loans with low repayments were considered. Some members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly spoke of the need for the judiciary to investigate the Tehran municipality.
- Etemad Daily in a report with the title “Municipality under the blade of research” that the “Reformist members of the city council, by submitting a plan to review the transfer of astronomical properties, they demanded that this institution enter the issue.”
- Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, the Interior Minister, on 3 September announced that he had ordered an investigation into the violations attributed to the municipality and the city council.
- On 27 October, the Attorney General's Office noted the violation of the law by handing over the property to 45 municipal and non-municipal managers who were not members of the cooperative, 150 people who had received high and non-regulatory discounts, and 29 people outside the municipality who received apartments.
- Ahmad Tavakoli said in this regard: “Violations of the municipality and the Tehran City Council are evident”, his report on astronomical real estate was published in detail on the websites, which by his report, from the 180 person list of the cessions, the cession to 122 people have been proven. Therefore 17,000 square meters (usually in the 1,2,3 and 22 areas of Tehran) were ceded illegally with the expert value of 85,500 billion Tomans and with a discount of 24,300 billion Tomans.
- In early September 2016, a number of MPs said that they were developing a plan to investigate the Tehran Municipality in three areas: “Issuing licenses for unreasonable constructions, incorrect appointments in the Tehran Municipality and transferring unreasonable bills and property to city council members.”
- But in the end, on 14 March 2017, members of parliament rejected a request for an investigation into the performance of the Tehran Municipality in handing over properties and projects to individuals and legal entities.
- It is not clear to us why and how the parliament decided not to pass the investigation of the Tehran Municipality during the tenure of Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf. But Mahmoud Sadeghi said the municipality should have welcomed the investigation if there were no problems, and he accused the municipality of 'lobbying' and 'assigning a concession of 10 billion tomans to the brother of a member of the Civil Commission of the Majlis.'
- In parliament Fatemeh Saeedi also expressed the opposition of the deputies to the investigation of the municipality due to the 'heavy pressure of the supporters and people around the mayor of Tehran and strange lobbies with the deputies, choosing the wrong time (last Tuesday of the year) to put this issue on the agenda and the absence of dozens of representatives in the meeting.’
- Mahmoud Sadeghi also made a revelation on 10 July 2018 that according to the reports of the employees of the parliament during the approval of the investigation plan of Tehran municipality, one of the deputies received a ‘hologram of user changing’ worth of 1 billion Tomans and a number of other members of parliament received a five million Tomans money card.
- Parvaneh Salahshouri, who was barred from running in the 11th parliament and was not a candidate, in her Twitter page on 14 January 2020, while a protest against Abbas Ali Kadkhodai's remarks about the economic corruption of disqualified MPs, cited Qalibaf's corruption cases and his verification of competency.
- Mustafa Mirsalim recently lamented the prevalence of 'disgusting methods in the Islamic Republic,' which he said was the basis for buying votes in parliament. While expressing that the 'the work of buying the votes of the representatives in the parliament is being done very explicit and some of the deputies are auctioning their votes' he claimed: ‘To retake a research plan, 65 billion Tomans has been paid just to one Chairman of the Commission in Parliament.’
- Mirsalim, of course, did not mention the head of the offending commission, but the reaction of some reformist and hardline politicians suggests that the same controversial investigation into 'astronomical property' was apparently intended. (Hamshahri Online)
Finally, this state-run media wrote: “What certain is that Qalibaf's corruption case was never investigated clearly. It is unclear why they did not allow the investigation with lobbying and heavy pressure. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf is now the head of the legislature, which wants to fight corruption. The important question is, is it possible to clean glass with a dirty napkin? Can a person accused of corruption be the center of the fight against corruption?”