A former Iranian official admitted on Saturday to systematic economic corruption by the mullahs.
Azar Mansouri, a member of former president Mohammad Khatami’s Advisory Board, said: “Giving names to years and disregarding the true requirements has only given these nomenclatures publicity purposes and sometimes yielded reverse results. And the year 1400 is no exception to this rule.”
This came just days after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared in his New Year speech that this would be the year for supporting domestic production and removing barriers, claiming that last year saw a “production leap”, even though the Iranian people saw no benefit. This speech also centred on his refusal to limit nuclear activities or improve relations with the global community, which are vital to ensuring the lifting of sanctions.
Mansouri said: “It is impossible to talk about production leap while the sanctions have maintained their impact. No country can achieve a prosperous economy with these sanctions. We should look at the sanction relief project as a national goal, not a factional one, and we must use all our diplomatic capacity to achieve it.”
Of course, some officials blame the country’s economic issues on sanctions, but more are saying that government corruption caused the problem.
On March 6, Expediency Council head Mohsen Rezaii said: “The economic mismanagement of the country must end. Since 2013 [the beginning of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency] until now, the people’s purchase power has decreased considerably. An important part of the problems is not due to sanctions but are due to management issues. Negligence has resulted in the devaluation of the country’s currency against foreign currencies. And you can see the conditions of the stock market. Economic managers claim that the people’s lives are spinning just as the centrifuges are. Hearing such things in these conditions is very disturbing.”
But Mansouri also admitted to the systematic and institutional corruption that led the mullahs’ to privatise the economy and created the biggest obstacle to production. She called on the authorities to end its monopoly of allowing its affiliates to buy state companies at low prices.
Then, she spoke about Iran’s refusal to pass anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) bills to bring them in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.
Mansouri said, “By delaying the FATF bills, we have created a barrier to financial and banking transactions. This has even caused us to lose the markets of other countries in the region.”
She called for reforms to reduce corruption and improve the economy for all Iranians.