State-run Iranian newspaper Resalat published an article on Tuesday, November 29th detailing extensive corruption in Iran’s government.
The article, entitled “Who Is the Keeper of the Treasury?”, analyzed the use of the Supreme Audit Court of Iran by government officials to obtain personal benefit.
“The Supreme Audit Court of Iran is an observatory body that can dismiss the supreme authorities and return the stolen funds to the treasury, and ultimately it can prosecute the financial crimes such as embezzlement, theft, and the unlawful possession of public funds”, said the article.
“It can also send the case to the judiciary not for revision, but for prosecution”, it added.
The Supreme Audit Court of Iran’s president presented a report before Parliament two months ago showing the inflatedly high salaries of many government figures and said that he hoped the money they had embezzled would be returned to Iran’s treasury that week.
“The spokesman of the Judiciary said that the government and Supreme Audit Court have not yet delivered any report regarding the far-fetched amount of salaries”, the article went on.
“By the way, how could this puzzle be solved? Who is obstructing the administration of justice in this regard? Who disagrees with prosecuting and punishing those who were encroaching on the treasury of Muslims?”
The article also touches on the testimony of Hajibabai, the chairman of the Committee for Integrating the Sixth Plan of Parliament, who admitted to profiting from a subsidy income reform plan:
“To this day, no one has ever talked about the government’s revenue from the subsidy reform plan. The figure of subsidies income reaches to 25 billion dollars and in the previous year the amount was about 21 billion dollar of which only 11 billion dollars has been paid to the people.”
In a similar vein, Iran’s judiciary has been accused of embezzlement and corruption.
In a letter to the Iranian Parliament, parliamentary vice-president Ali Motahari criticized the Prosecutor of Tehran following the arrest of MP Mahmoud Sadeghi, who inquired about the earnings of officials suspected of corruption.
“If Mahmoud Sadeghi had an actual relater then why such issue had not been handled before and as soon as he inquired about the bank accounts of the Judiciary, a lawsuit was filed against him. It turns out that the significant issue here is the bank accounts of the head of the Judiciary.”
“The disagreement between the Parliament and the Judiciary in such cases is due to two differences. In [the opinion of the Iranian judiciary], any criticism or question of an MP to the Judiciary could be a crime provided that it would not be acceptable and the prosecutor can summon him directly or detain him as well. On the contrary, we think that any criticism or question could be acceptable or not however in such cases the judiciary shall respond to this by discussing the issue with the minister of Justice since he would be responsible for following the case.”
In the letter, Motahari defended Sadeghi, who was formally accused of “disturbing the public opinion” and defamation by the Prosecutor of Tehran.
“If we take your views as the criteria,” said Motahari, addressing the prosecutor in his letter, “then a number of MPs should be in the prosecutor’s office by now since they criticize the president and the ministers or they ask questions every day and they would even figure out that their claim was wrong. The main problem is that the judiciary is not responsive to anyone.”
Motahari also addressed the vice-president of the Iranian Parliament.
“Don’t you think that the Supervisory Law on MPs’ behavior is not an administrative law? Is a judge only responsible for detecting the crimes? Is the Supervisory Board on MPs’ behavior not qualified enough to detect and investigate the crimes? However, we believe that any summon by the prosecutor should be allowed by the Board which means that if the Board finds out that an MP has committed a crime out of his parliamentary duties then the prosecutor is allowed to summon him.”
“However, the prosecutor is following a conduct in which it shows the parliament as an impoverished entity and according to that, an MP could be summoned or detained anytime and perhaps they have to turn to flattery in order to resolve issues. I hope that these fundamentals would be revised.”