Iran Economy NewsIran’s Looted Black Gold

Iran’s Looted Black Gold

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Corruption, theft, and waste in Iran are so deep-rooted in the regime that even its supreme leader Ali Khamenei has compared it to a seven-headed dragon.

Despite being the main source of the country’s economic and scientific progression, along with strengthening its infrastructure, oil has become the main source of the regime officials’ corruption. The heads of the regime’s oil industry are all involved in various cases of corruption, money laundering, and embezzlement.

As Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the regime’s speaker of parliament previously claimed, there is no accountability in this field. In a tweet on March 25, Ghalibaf said: “One of the problems of running the country is the multiplicity of revenue accounts and the lack of accurate monitoring of the resources obtained from the sale of petroleum products.”

This was seemingly a clear admission to corruption that is swallowing all the country’s wealth. This situation is the result of the regime’s political turmoil and the rule of nepotism in the oil industry, one of the many examples of the lack of strict control over the revenues from the sale of petroleum products, which has not been included in any of the regime’s budget bill over the past years.

In regards to the budget bill for 2021-2022, the state-run daily Resalat raised a question on December 26, 2021, which strengthened the suspicion of a longstanding and state-run corruption, writing, “What is the share of oil revenue in the total budget of the country after one hundred years of investment in this industry? Only 65 percent ​​of oil and natural gas exports.”

They further added, “The question is what happens to the sale of crude oil and natural gas at home, which is priced twice as much as the general budget of the government, according to Article 1 of the Law on Targeted Subsidies? Why is the forecast of this income not seen in the 2022 general budget of the government?”

This admission of the Resalat daily is conforming to the fact that the regime is stealing the daily income of the sale of more than 2.2 million barrels of oil, as well as the income from the domestic gas consumption, which is about 600 to 700 million cubic meters of gas. Furthermore, this income is not included in the budget bill and the regime’s revenue balance sheets.

This is in a situation in which the regime’s Ministry of Oil receives a budget of more than 100 trillion tomans every year, and of course, when its revenue is uncertain and is not included in the annual general budget, no tax will be paid on the revenue.

Part of the oil that is produced and exported by companies or institutions which hold the awarded contract, its production, and its sales abroad are involved in major violations.

Previously in an interview with the regime’s Radio Farhang on July 14, 2019, Amir Khojasteh said, “Because of the non-compliance with the law, out of 40 oil contracts, 39 were accompanied by violations and collusion.”

But corruption in the regime’s oil industry is not just dedicated to its income and annual budget. There are cases, with accurate testimonies, of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its mafia smuggling oil outside the country.

Corruption has pervaded the country’s economy, and this has caused the economy to suffer more than ever. The misery that has caused inflation and rising prices has plunged most people into poverty, while the ruling elites, including the regime’s oil moguls, are enjoying ‘royal life.’

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