Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, October 14, 2011

Transparency would be nice

Well, transparency would be nice for those of us trying to understand what's going on in Iran. Less transparency would probably benefit all the political and economic players there. Whether they're running some kind of scam or trying to pull political strings behind the scenes, the more they can do without being seen, the better for their goals.

Iran’s biggest financial scam weakens Ahmadinejad; economic hardship may revive unrest in Iran
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose campaign pledge was to combat corruption, is facing a fresh political blow over the largest financial scandal in the country’s history.

The $2.6 billion scam has taken on political dimensions, and some politicians have linked the main suspect in the fraud to a so-called deviant current,” allegedly led by Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff and closest ally.

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie is accused by many Shiite clerics and politicians of trying to undermine the central role of the clergy in politics by emphasizing the nationalist strain of Iranian history and culture…

The fraud was made public with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s approval, said some hardline politicians.

“Ahmadinejad’s allies are determined to win the next elections and Khamenei’s allies want to block their way ... That is the main reason behind the revelation of this scam,” said an economist, who identified himself as Saber Lavasani…

The fraud has become a national obsession, increasing pressure on the clerical establishment to take action at a time when Iran’s economy is badly flagging.

The scam, which involved illegal bank withdrawals, will further put economic pressure on the nation by increasing inflation. It officially hovers around 16 percent. Critics say the figure is really over 30 percent.

Iranian newspapers and websites have given wide coverage to the scandal, criticizing Ahmadinejad and his inner circle of allies…

Frustration is simmering among lower and middle-class Iranians. Prices of most consumer goods have risen and many Iranians struggle to make ends meet…

International sanctions imposed on Iran over its disputed nuclear program, coupled with high inflation have led to a general fear that life will get worse before getting any better…

Iran: 14 New Arrests in Bank Scandal
Iran’s top prosecutor reported 14 new arrests on Monday in connection with a record $2.6 billion embezzlement uncovered last month at Bank Melli, the largest commercial bank in the country, and called on its fugitive managing director to return home from Canada, where he fled as the fraud was about to become public…

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