Iran's Information and Communications Technology Minister Issa Zarepour has denied an accusation that his family members have dual nationality.
He made the remarks in an Instagram post on Friday after Iran International released travel documents that reveal two of Zarepour's children hold Australian citizenship.
Zarepour claimed that none of his family members and even immediate relatives has dual nationality.
In early August, Mohammad Saleh Hashemi Golpayegani, the secretary of Iran’s Headquarters For Enjoining Right And Forbidding Evil, tasked with promoting the clerical regime’s interpretation of Islamic laws, criticized the high number of “senior officials” whose relatives are living abroad, confirming that there are over 4,000 sons and daughters who have left Iran.
Earlier in the year, General Morteza Mirian, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ ground operations, said that the relatives of these officials should be “tracked” so as not to be allowed back to Iran to take up managerial positions.
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 under former 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.”