Mohammad Gharazi, one of the founders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and former Minister of Oil, named the leaders of the government and its affiliated aristocratic elements as ‘Agha’ (Sir), and called their children and grandchildren ‘Aghazadeh’ (official’s relatives) and said: ‘If there is no Agha, there will be no Aghazadeh.’
He acknowledged that the ‘Aghazadehs’ stole the people’s capital and moved to the United States and Europe, saying: A very reliable example is that 5,000 children of Iranian officials have left Iran and gone to the United States and taken billions of dollars with them. Agha and Aghazadeh are an issue, those who consider public rights to be a subset of their special rights.”
Continuing his remarks in the state-run daily Mostaghel on February 15, 2021, he acknowledged the laws of Iran’s parliament in order to ensure the interests of the regime’s leaders, their relatives and those around them, and stated in this regard:
“You have observed time and time again that laws are enacted in the parliament’s sessions that establish the rights of some people and in this situation the people are disappointed. By creating rent-seeking, Agha and Aghasadehs are formed, then they define a position for themselves that people hate very much.”
The former minister’s remarks on the plundering of the national wealth by the ‘Aghas’ and their children merely expose an aspect of the institutionalized political and economic corruption in Iran’s Velayat-e-Faqih (supreme religious rule).
Another important point in his interview was that the parliament is one of the main causes of corruption, which legitimizes and institutionalizes it in favor of the leaders of the system and their relatives.
Extreme class differences and the deprivation of the majority of the people in the face of the unlimited wealth of a few and a minority are inevitable consequences.
As a result, problems such as marginalization, homelessness, tomb sleepers, and many other social crises are affecting the deprived people.
Crises that have absolutely nothing to do with foreign origin and sanctions, while the leaders of the regime, led by Ali Khamenei and Hassan Rouhani, are trying to relate these problems to sanctions.
While most Iranians live in poverty, in addition to these, ‘Aghas and their children’, there is also a parasitic nobility which is dependent on the government, as the state-run daily Aftab-e-Yazd on February 16, 2021 wrote:
“Now a class of novices has come to power and you can see them in Farmaniyeh and Saffaranieh. These people have become billionaires through economic and business swaps and rent-seeking even with the sanctions.”
Mansour Haghighatpour, a member of the parliament, also admits this fact: “Corruption is like a termite in the system.” (State-run daily Mostaghel, February 15, 2021)
Mohsen Rezaei also confessed to the looting of people’s property by 150 government agents in the capital market: “150 people plunder people’s capital in the stock market.” (State-run daily Entekhab, February 14, 2021)
Abbas Akhundi, the former Minister of Ministry of Roads and Urban Development of Hassan Rouhani’s government, announced the formation of a ‘transnational corruption network.’
An international network of corruption, which operates in the so-called informal market and thus has an annual trade value of $20 billion to $25 billion, has been involved in a deep corruption for 15 years.
The former minister of the Rouhani government pointed to a case of corruption that, “$100 billion stock was largely distributed among military entities.” (ISNA, February 8, 2021)
Iran’s parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf said about this corruption in the presence of the so-called governmental ‘Economic activists’: “The corruption that we see in our country today is not due to the behavior of the private sector.” (State-TV, news channel, January 20, 2021)
Qalibaf is right because the regime has overset the real private sector. Because in the current situation, according to government experts, more than 60 percent of the economy is in the hands of institutions affiliated with Khamenei and the government, those who does not pay taxes and every year the government provides a large part of their budget from the pockets of the people.
What Gharazi has admitted is the product of a system in which corruption is institutionalized, systematic, and, as they say, automatic.