By Pooya Stone
The Kayhan newspaper, affiliated to Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, published an article titled “The faction of bad dealing,” attacking the contra faction to the supreme leader and revealing their bad actions.
While contemplating on this note, we can see examples of structural corruption, as well as power, struggles to enjoy government benefits and positions.
Naturally, the author of the note did not aim to challenge corruption in the entire Velayat-e-Faqih (clerical) regime, but only to cite examples that aim to confront the opposite faction and exonerate the main part of the regime and at most Khamenei.
But it has inadvertently raised issues that can address and show us the relations behind the scenes of power and politics in the Velayat-e-Faqih regime.
“One of the biggest problems in the country is that epochs, managements, events, and records are not seriously and critically re-read. For this reason, problems and weaknesses are transferred from one period to the next and from one manager to the next, and some of these problems are exacerbated. Another consequence of this lack of critical re-reading is that people are employed in a new position without taking into account of their previous record, often arguing that they have a history of being a member of parliament, managing a certain group, and so on.”
The implication of this confession is that the clerical regime of Iran is entwined with corruption and that the rulers will never be held accountable for their malign actions. The intertwined relationships of looting in this oligarchy and the secrets of the corruption of its officials stay forever in secrecy. While hawks will not pick out hawks' eyes.
In this confession, another issue that we encounter is the emptiness of the fight against corruption by the regime’s judiciary. In the power struggle between the factions, it is just used and effective as propaganda to get the opponent out of the competition, and nothing else.
Moreover, as mentioned, corruption in this regime is systematic, and each of the factions and the elements of the government have different cases against each other, which they use to silence the other side.
“Why there is concern about inefficient and incompetent MPs is that, despite the disqualification of dozens of current members of parliament due to financial and moral issues, we, unfortunately, do not see any follow-up on this issue.
“The reason for this lack of follow-up goes back to two cases. First, the incompetence and weakness of the responsible institutions in this case, which is not acceptable at all.
“The second reason goes back to the nature of these corruptions. Most of these financial corruptions have a bad dealing nature. Corruption which happened by bad dealings are often complicated, and it will not be easy to detect, track, and prove it in court, although it is possible to investigate it carefully.”
'Inefficiency' and 'weakness of responsible institutions' are dignified translations of 'systematic corruption', 'large-scale cooperation of the country's thieves with each other to loot more ' and 'corrupt judiciary', but the important point here is that this structural and systematic corruption is done in different ways and is generally indistinguishable because it is based on the compromise of both factions of the regime.
The writer of Kayhan confines only to a few examples:
“A minister is scheduled to be impeached in parliament, and a representative has signed the impeachment letter. After behind-the-scenes consultations, the representative withdrew his signature and was given an apartment in one of the northern parts of the capital. Of course, not for free, but at a very low price, especially with special conditions and loans, which is nothing less than to be free. Is it easy to prove that the granting of this apartment was for the regain of the false signature in return? Despite his young age, the son of a representative has been a member of the board of directors or CEO of dozens of state-owned and quasi-state-owned companies, with salaries of tens of millions and rewards of several hundred million. Any normal intelligent person understands that if this person were not the son of such officials, it was unlikely that he would be the gatekeeper of the company of which he is now the CEO.
“In another case, the son of a set representative up an office and received several hundred million from clients so that his father could follow up on their work. If you go and grab the collar of the member of parliament, and ask him on this issue, he will say that I am a representative of the people and it is my duty to follow their problems.
“They made the appearance and form of receiving that money in such a way that it looks legal and ordinary. These are just a few examples of bad deals. The bad deal faction is one of the busiest and most active factions of the 10th Majlis (parliament), with the difference that it does not have an official panel and its meetings are always closed.”
Kayhan, as one of the regime’s main newspapers which reflects the main issues in this regime, in this note admits that in this regime, there is no law to deal with many of these corruptions.
“Experts in the field of jurisprudence acknowledge that many of these corruptions have not been criminalized, and from this point of view, we have a legal weakness. Aren't you interested in the fact that with all these talks and speeches and interviews about rent and rent-seeking, something called rent-seeking has not yet been criminalized?”
And finally, it admits that all the regime’s officials are involved in corruption and no one is excluded: “Corruption has no left, no right, no red, no blue, and no one is safe from the temptation of the eolian wealth and forbidden lust.”