Heshmatollah Fallahatpisheh speaking in the Iranian parliament in 2018

Iranian Politician Says Corruption Scandals Reach $57 Billion

Saturday, 12/16/2023

A former Iranian member of parliament states that the total embezzlements in major corruption cases in the Islamic Republic have reached a staggering $57 billion.

Heshmatollah Fallahatpisheh argued that this figure is on par with the total loans South Korea received from the International Monetary Fund, a pivotal intervention that rescued its economy from bankruptcy, elevating it to a position among the top 10 global economies.

Iran has sold around $1.5 trillion of oil in the past 25 years, but its economy is in crisis and the national currency has fallen 12-fold since 2018.

In his capacity as the former head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the parliament, Fallahatpisheh voiced serious concerns about the deteriorating trend of governance in Iran.

The influential politician was addressing a series of high-profile corruption cases linked to the government, with the latest being a more-than $3 billion case in the tea industry.

Previously, Fallahatpisheh had criticized the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi and the parliament, highlighting the "disgrace" of the tea corruption case.

Debsh Tea company stands accused of selling at least $1.4 billion of the more than $3.3 billion cheap foreign currency allocated by the government at significantly higher rates in the black market between 2019 and 2022. This substantial amount of foreign currency was earmarked for the importation of tea and tea factory machinery.

Joining the chorus of criticism, Mohammad Mohajeri, a conservative media activist, took to the X social network to address the silence of Friday Imams regarding the corruption case in tea imports. He questioned the lack of importance given to the issue by religious leaders, even two weeks after the revelation of significant corruption in the Debsh tea company during the Raisi government.

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