Valiollah Seif, former chief of Iran's central bank. FILE PHOTO

Iran Lawmaker Says Rouhani's Central Bank Chief Sold 62 Tons Of Gold

Tuesday, 11/02/2021

A lawmaker in Iran has alleged that during former president Hassan Rouhani’s administration the central bank chief engaged in corruption and mismanagement.

Ali Akbar Karimi, a trained economist and an occasional critic of corruption, told the conservative Mehr news agency on Tuesday that former central bank chief Valiollah Seif “auctioned off the country’s wealth” and no one has looked into this case.

He said that the central bank sold 62 tons of gold as government-issued gold coins, but he did not say how this was related to corruption. Seif headed the institution from 2013-2018, and Iran was under international sanctions during the first three years and short of cash.

He insisted that Seif inflicted “huge damage” during his tenure at the bank. Iran’s Judiciary has announced that Seif has been convicted in another case related to corruption and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Iranian hardline conservatives have long been pursuing corruption and mismanagement in Rouhani’s government to show that shortcomings are the result of bad actors rather than the political system.

Similar cases have been common in other Iranian presidential administrations, and it is hard to prove that Rouhani’s government was worse than its predecessors.

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