June 11, 2008

KLEPTO, NOT THEO:

Top Iranian Mullahs Corrupt, Official Says (Kenneth R. Timmerman, 6/10/08, NewsMax)

A senior official with Iran’s Parliamentary Investigations committee, Abbas Palizar] called the regime’s judiciary branch “the center of economic corruption.” Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi was appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 1999, and remains a close ally of the leader, making an attack on him extremely sensitive.

Palizar said the judiciary and the State Inspectorate Organization had refused to cooperate with the Majles (parliament) investigations into corruption, and had put its members on “forced leave” to prevent them from giving testimony.

It took over a year for Palizar and his investigators to access the files on the numerous corruption investigations that were closed without prosecution.

But what he found was stunning, he said.

“One of these clerics came and said that he had a disabled son and wanted to build a physical therapy center where he could be treated. So we registered the center for him.

"Then he asked for financial support, and demanded that we give him the license to operate the Dehbid stone quarry in Fars province, a company that has the some of the best marble in the world. After that, he said this was not enough, and he asked for a license to operate another quarry in Zanjan province. Now he operates four quarries and a physical therapy center.”

Palizar was reluctant to name the cleric, but when students pressed him, he identified him as Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani, a prominent member of the Council of Guardians and one of four temporary Friday prayer leaders in Tehran.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 11, 2008 6:31 AM
Comments

Attacking individual clerics is one thing, but will any "reformer" go after the Revolutionary Guard? The Guard has either absorbed, appropriated, or confiscated probably 15-20% of Iran's economy, including most of the industry that supplies the military. And a fair part of the rest of the economy operates under the Guard's "protection".

Even if Ahmadinejad is swept aside, the resurgence of Larijani only means that non-twelver hard-liners are gaining power. The hope for real reform is less than it was even a year ago.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 11, 2008 7:59 AM

It is the hard-liners who are likely to reform the economy, because they have the greatest interest in preserving the Republic. That's why Khamenei has systematically thwarted Mahmoud ever since he was elected.

Posted by: oj at June 11, 2008 8:41 AM
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