September 15, 2017

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corruption Empire (Asharq Al-Awsat, 9/15/17)

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps is being forced to shrink its sprawling business empire and some of its senior members have been arrested as part of President Hassan Rouhani's attempts to curb the elite force's role in the economy, the Financial Times reported.

In the past year, the guards, who have interests in sectors ranging from oil and gas to telecoms and construction, have had to restructure some holding companies and transfer ownership of others back to the state, a regime insider and a government official told the British daily. [...]

The crackdown, which is being conducted discreetly to avoid undermining the guards -- one of the most powerful arms of the regime -- began last year. It started after Rouhani, a pragmatist who has criticized the guards' role in the economy, told supreme leader Ali Khamenei about the vast wealth individuals affiliated to the 120,000-strong force had accumulated, the officials said.

"Rouhani has told the supreme leader that the economy has reached a deadlock because of high levels of corruption and the guards' massive control over the economy," said one regime insider, who is a relative of the supreme leader. "Other than economic concerns, Khamenei feels the need to save the guards [from corruption] and has naturally thrown his support behind the move."

Posted by at September 15, 2017 8:01 AM

  

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