The Supreme Leader of the Iranian regime has gone out of his way to show that he is fighting financial corruption in the highest ranks of the state.
State-run media are awash with reports of officials and lawmakers accusing each other of widespread corruption. While the accusations are part of the infighting between various factions in the regime and might have gotten out of hand, the whole idea that the clerical regime of Iran has the ability to actually fight institutionalized corruption is a farce.
Corruption is nothing new in the regime. In fact, since the clerics led by Khomeini took over the country 40 years ago with the banner of “empowering the impoverished” they have been pocketing the wealth of the Iranian people.
The money is used to fund the regime’s terrorism and proxy wars abroad while regime elites and the sons and daughters of regime elites lead the lifestyle of the rich and famous inside and outside Iran.
You cannot get filthy rich in Iran without being affiliated with the state one way or another.
A regime affiliated economic, frequently interviewed on state-run TV told Arman Meli Daily that those “who are arrested today were only carrying out the orders of their superiors”.
“Unfortunately, many officials were complicit in the corruption and if (corruption) is being dealt with, they should also be dealt with,” Hossein Zaghfar said yesterday.
“Unfortunately, corruption in our country is institutionalized in the sense that existing decision-making structures themselves are corrupt and even those who are involved in this system but do not participate in corruption are automatically eliminated from the wheel of power,” Zaghfar said.
“As long as this way of distributing economic rents of natural resources, which is the main source of wealth for those close to the center of power, is not corrected, many of the country’s problems, especially corruption will remain,” the economic added.
Zaghfar said that the most important effect of state institutionalized corruption was that Iranians had lost their “trust” in decision making bodies.
They have lost more than that.
The reason Khamenei has suddenly decided to “deal” with corruption stems from his fear of protests by angry Iranians who blame the Supreme Leader for all their economic woes.
Iranians know that the Supreme Leader is the source of all corruption in the country. How else would Khamenei control $200 billion in assets?
In order to control the wrath of ordinary Iranians who are fed up with corruption, Khamenei is making a show of arresting corrupt officials and “cleansing” the Judiciary and other institutions.
Of course the Supreme Leader is careful not to arrest officials appointed by him in top judicial and security posts such as former Chief of Judiciary Amoli Larijani, marred in extensive corruption scandals.
In the end, Khamenei will hang a few people for corruption, but he will not be able to fool Iranians. They know that until the regime is rooted out, corruption and the looting of their wealth will continue.
Many speculate that it is just a matter of time before angry Iranians take matters in their own hands to root out the source of corruption, aka, the Supreme Leader.