Islamic Republic of Iran and Organised Corruption

By Omar Balaki

Corruptionis used for spiritual and moral breach of accepted social norms. It could bebribery exchange, through avidity into government or public property forpersonal interest, in other word corruption is a kind of disobedience or crimethat is known as prohibited or fraudulent conduct for personal interest bythose in power.

When corruption becomes a nations culture, then no one believes that corruption is wrong doing, or it might be a crime. The reason is corruption became endemic, and if individuals do not follow same rule they might not survive, such culture can damage structure and origin of the society. 

When the corruptions phenomenon spreads in a country and becomes a culture that occupies all aspects of countries political, economic and social texture then the residents of such country can remain under poverty, even though the country might have a big wealth.

According to Transparency International Organisation (TIO) view, Islamic Republic of Iran is among the most corrupt countries in the world. TIO assesses countries every year in its specific way then reports the outcome as corruption perceptions index which most of the times the Islamic Republic of Iran’s place is in the bottom their list. In other words, Iran is one of the most corrupted countries in the world.

Iranian people Intensified demonstrations against Persian monarchy during (October )1977 to (11 February) 1979. According to writers and researchers one of the main reasons that brought people to the streets was protesting against corruption that imbedded within monarchy system therefore Iranian people did take action hoping for a better life through eliminating corruption form the country operating system. After overthrowing monarchy system, people anticipated the new system that signifies Islamic Republic which defined itself using Islamic justice slogans. However, contrary to the people’s expectation from the Islamic Republic system, not only the corruption was not eliminated but the state apparatus got mod corrupted and the morality and social values were affected deeply which became the main reason for increased poverty and injustice within society. In the last forty years the systematic corruption, has established such fabrication, false accusations, and operational intimidation in environment that caused significant damage to the national interest. In other word as the regime ages the public’s interest become the victim of avidity of the ruling elite increasingly.

Pension bureau corruption valued by a thousand milliard, bribery of central bank by Sepid Ostowar company prised 650 million euros, taking 30 to 90 million bribe of Mohammadreza Rahimi Iranian Vice President (Mahmmod Ahmadinajad), at the time, to 170 members of Iranian parliament, corruption of eight thousand milliard Tomans  in the teachers reserve fund, 94 thousand milliard Tomans froud in Padideh Shandiz, three thousand  milliard Tomans  dishonesty in Saderat Bank and missing 17 files related to corruption and misconduct in Mahmmod Ahmadinajad administration are only the tip of the iceberg of the systematic corruption within the Islamic Republic. 

The irony is the judicial system which should be the prime centre for scrutinizing and prosecution of the corruption cases, both as an institution and its highest people in charge are an integrated part of the corrupt system.

Another example is the supreme leader and those belonging to his family which no one is allowed to scrutinize and ask where they wealth has come from.

Most experts believe that corruption is a political behaviour which requires a political motivation to be eliminated. Due to the lack of political drive in Iran as the regime is the motive of corruption among official organisations, therefore the corruption has expanded extremely. Right now, corruption in Iran is not only a basic bribery but became texture of the Islamic Republic organisations and the identification of system. It could be proven through only regime’s top official note for example Ahmad Tawakoli ex-MP and one of presidency election nominees with Ahmadinajad and Rohani, has said that the Islamic Republic government arrived at the point known as systematic corruption. In addition, in the recent presidential election all four nominees (Hassan Rohani, Eshagh Jahangiri, Mohammad Ghalibaf, and Ebrahim Raeesi) that have been selected by The Guardian Council had clearly accused each other of corruption. These kinds of accusations became normal and it happened repeatedly by the end of each presidential period that lead to some of president’s inner circle to be detained like a useless victim in a competitive strategy among different wings that were not count as fighting against corruption because that did not make any changes even corruption has increased. What Ahmad Tawakoli meant by “systematic corruption” is that after the Islamic Republic has took over the power, leaders organise corruption within the official organisations in a way that corruption is united with the regime daily work that facilitate opportunists to have more avidity, using bribery to take advantage to promote his/her career. In such environment, because opportunists are taking over all the opportunities, therefore people will not be able to achieve their right and vulnerable individuals will break spiritually and economically with extreme poverty. Inevitably, poorer people forced to attempt such action that might be unworthy a dignified human being which enables more corruption and eventually society surrender under rulers demands.

As mentioned above the corruption in Islamic Republic of Iran has become a culture and is spread in areas such as: political, religious structure, sexual crises, oil industry, city and village councils, the mayors and tens of other areas in which all are related to each other like chain loop that brought Iran under Islamic Republic, to be the lead of world corrupt countries.

Systematic corruption in the Islamic Republic has resulted in the government’s policies to be against the public interest because regime has always been unsuccessful in its projects against corruption even superficially. Therefore, people have lost their trust in the system and consequently compassionate and commitment among people have vanished and replaced by corruption, disloyalty and immorality. According to the “equality before the law”, the law must guarantee that no individual or group of individuals should be privileged or discriminated against by the government. However, law and the rule of law in the Islamic Republic does not have any meaning for authorities.

In democratic countries two fundamental pillars assure the rule of law which are, the legislative i.e. the parliament and the judiciary systems.  From the early days of Islamic Republic to now more than half of those who involved in corruption were members of parliaments or from authorities of judiciary system. Therefore, the Institute of International Planning for justice has reported that Iran as 80th among 118 countries.

Therefore discussing the official – economic corruption in the Islamic Republic is solely a propaganda by those in power so the Iranian people have not and will not believe that the Islamic Republic wants or will be able to solve this issue, especially with a powerful economic mafia within the power elite that merged its existence with corruption and of course above all of them is the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran and Khamenei himself which leads that mafia.

In conclusion, if all the power of a country is concentrated in the hands of a single person which is above the law, then it is natural that instead of the rule of law, corruption becomes a culture and the rulers become wealthier and disenfranchised ones get poorer.

  Source: 07/12/2018

Translated by: K. Modaresi & A. Modaresi