Ebrahim Raisi, the new president of the Iranian regime, has announced that he and his administration will be tackling corruption in the form of the ‘twelve principles governing the national plan for preventing and combating administrative and economic corruption’.
Iran is suffering from institutionalized corruption. The country’s economy is dominated by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Raisi’s cabinet is filled with the IRGC’s officials and Khamenei’s inner circles.
Astan-e Quds Razavi (AQR) is one of the largest endowment foundations in the Middle East, and formerly had Raisi involved in its operations as the caretaker. In a report by the Iranian Resistance regarding the AQR, the assets of the financial institution include around 50 large companies and at least 43% of the real estate in Iran’s second most- populated city, Mashhad. The institution is also exempted from paying any tax to the Iranian government.
In an interview with the state-run Alef news agency, government minister Behzad Nabavi explained that there are 4 institutions in Iran that control around 60% of the national wealth and claimed that none of them are in connection with the government or parliament. These institutions include the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Directive (Setad Ejraie Farman Imam), Khatam-ol-Anbiay Base, Astan-e Quds, and Foundation of the Oppressed and Disabled.
In other words, Raisi oversaw one of Iran’s main corrupted institutions. Raisi later became the regime’s Judiciary Chief in 2019, another apparatus plagued with corruption. On May 11, Gholamhossein Esmaili, then Judiciary’s spokesperson, confirmed the arrest of 200 judiciary staff members.
Mohammad Mokhber, Raisi’s first vice-president, has also been involved with another financial institution, the ‘Execution of Khomeini’s Order (EIKO)’. He has headed the organization for 13 years from 2007 and controlled its billions of dollars of assets.
Mokhber was included in the EU sanctions list in 2010 for his role in the regime’s missile and nuclear activities and placed on the US sanctions list on January 15, 2016, for seizing the assets of political opponents and religious minorities.
When Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei banned the entry of credible Covid-19 vaccines into Iran earlier this year and instead encouraged the production of domestic vaccines, it was Barkat Pharmaceutical Group owned by EIKO that was tasked with the production of them. Mokhber oversaw the production line and despite the domestic vaccines being unapproved by the World Health Organization for their deadly side effects, the vaccine went on sale to the public.
Along with Raisi and Mokhber, another regime official in Raisi’s administration, Construction minister Rostam Ghasemi has a history with the regime’s own corrupt institutions. He previously served as commander of the Khatam-ol-Anbiya Base, and later took the position of Oil minister in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration. In his role as oil minister, Ghasemi was involved with embezzlement, bribery, and financial irregularities, amongst other financial crimes.
The regime has milked Iran and its people from their wealth. They do not accept these hollow promises, as they underline in their slogans during their daily protests that ‘enough with lies, our tables are empty’.