On April 14, in front of the Iranian Majles (parliament), Adel Azam, the chairman of Iran’s Court of Accounts, accused his government of corruption, mismanagement and the pilfering of state funds. pandemic
He did so in his annual budget report, which he titled “Summary of Budget Fraud in 1397 (2018).” Budget reports are mandated, but they are not generally damning and accusatory, nor read before the Majles. pandemic
The Budget Fraud Report of 1397 is incomplete. It carefully does not explicitly accuse Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), or the security establishment of impropriety. pandemic
Rather, it does so implicitly by exposing the scope of corruption in the current government, by pointing out illegal salaries and subsidies to government debtors and contractors, and by identifying sectors of the economy that are known to be IRGC-controlled.
IranWire wrote a series of articles detailing various aspects of the report to further shine a light on its mentions of currency manipulation, astronomical costs of small development projects, misappropriation of funds, and more.
In these reports, it brings up the important question of why the report was intended to draw public ire; i.e., why would the government accuse itself of money laundering and corruption?
In short, the answer is that factions in the government loyal to President Hassan Rouhani and his administration prepared the report to blame Khamenei and the IRGC for sabotaging Rouhani’s efforts to fix Iran’s economic troubles.
In fact, the IRGC, with Khamenei’s blessing, has become quite brazen in its efforts to pilfer Iran’s treasury, as well as to undermine Rouhani’s efforts to curb such corruption.
Rouhani versus the IRGC
Rouhani has faced significant opposition from hard-liners over the course of his tenure. The IRGC has been outspoken in its criticism of such policies as easing tensions with the West in the hopes of opening Iran’s economy to foreign investment and cooperation.
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