General Morteza Mirian, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ ground operations, has claimed that 4,000 relatives of “senior officials” live in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Mirani said during a live television show Tuesday they should be “tracked” so as not to be allowed back to Iran to take up managerial positions. He drew a parallel with the 1980-88 war with Iraq, saying that no Iranian official would have allowed family members to live with Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president, comparing him as an enemy with the West. Mirian suggested that what amounted to an exodus of these Iranians resulted from a weak commitment to revolutionary ideology.
A figure of 5,000 “descendants” of senior officials living abroad was cited in 2020 by Mohammad Gharazi, communications minister between 1985 and 1997 who was at the time considered a presidential hopeful. In November 2021, Alireza Salimi, a member of parliament, suggested that officials from the previous administration, under President Hassan Rouhani, including deputy ministers had moved to Europe due to fears they would be banned from leaving the country.
In 2019, Brian Hook, special representative for Iran (from 2018 to 2020) under President Donald Trump told Iran International that “children of Islamic Republic officials live rich and comfortable lives in the United States and other countries while Iranian people live in terrible conditions.” Hook said this showed “the regime’s hypocrisy.”