Corruption Without End
Tehran Bureau / Reihaneh Mazaheri

During his first term in office, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made anticorruption a central theme, promoting his administration's fight against financial misconduct. Today, not far into his second term, the government that claimed to be the most egalitarian and most pious since the 1979 Revolution now leads and embodies a financial mafia.

This, only two years after the president declared, during a trip to Mashhad, "The government's determination to uproot sources of corruption is resolute, and because of the action already taken, the possibility of any corrupt mark on the body of this government is zero." This, after a half-decade of promises that his government was devoted to crushing financial crime.

Over the past couple of years, corruption charges have brought scores of people, most of them part of the current administration, before the Court for Financial Affairs. Ahmad Ghasemie told the government-aligned Fars News Agency that in 2008 and 2009 there were convictions in 68 financial corruption cases involving a total of 257 people. The monetary value of these cases totaled 1.265 trillion tomans (US$1.265 billion), most it derived from the diversion of government property and the abuse of power by those serving in the executive branch.

The first Ahmadinejad administration effectively shut down the Center for Anti-Corruption Campaign by keeping the positions reserved for representatives of the executive vacant. In a November 2008 letter to the hea... >>>

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