The Iranian regime has been plagued by widespread corruption for decades. This pervasive problem has led to significant economic hardship for ordinary citizens and undermined public trust in the regime’s institutions. Despite the efforts of successive governments to address this issue, it remains endemic within certain sectors of society.
One area where corruption is particularly acute is among high-ranking officials within the regime. These individuals have used their positions of power to engage in various forms of graft, including embezzlement, bribery, and kickback schemes.
Such practices have resulted in substantial financial losses for the state and contributed to a culture of impunity that allows such behavior to continue unchecked. In recent years, many Iranian regime officials have faced corruption allegations.
Several former cabinet ministers have faced charges of embezzling large sums of money from government coffers or misusing funds intended for specific projects. A number of senior politicians and businesspeople with close ties to the ruling establishment have come under fire for accepting bribes, kickbacks, or illicit payoffs linked to lucrative contracts, investment deals, or state tenders.
Some senior executives and board members affiliated with state enterprises or banks have reportedly engaged in insider dealing, collusion, self-dealing, and other illegal activities designed to benefit themselves, their families, or friends.
Corrupt officials often divert funds earmarked for important national projects like transportation networks, housing development, healthcare facilities, or environmental initiatives into their own pockets or pet projects. As a result, crucial infrastructure suffers from neglect, maintenance backlogs accumulate, and essential services deteriorate due to lack of funding or poor management.
Indeed, the widespread corruption and graft among the regime’s officials have had severe consequences for the infrastructure and development of the country.
The enduring crisis in water supply, waste disposal, electricity generation, roads, bridges, ports, airports, etc., illustrates how persistent malfeasance hampers long-term planning, jeopardizes sustainable growth, and exacerbates social inequality.
An article published in Jahan Sanat newspaper on April 20, 2023, highlights the decline in infrastructure investment due to various reasons since Ahmadinejad’s government took office.
The situation worsened in the 2010s, and currently, five provinces are experiencing a severe drought, leading to electricity rationing during the upcoming summer season and a shortage of electricity for industrial activities.
Numerous reports and evaluations further reveal the dire state of infrastructure in Iran. On December 6, 2021, Deutsche Welle reported that many Iranian planes were grounded because they are worn out.
The state-run daily Eghtesad News reported on January 12, 2023, that Iran’s roads kill thousands of citizens every year. The state-run news agency ISNA reported on April 1, 2023, that power plants are worn out and old, and on February 14, 2022, it reported that large factories like HEPCO and Azarab are far behind in new global technologies.
On April 20, 2023, the state-run daily Jahan-e Sanat admitted, “The bitter reality is that governments have sacrificed the climate, oil and gas resources, pastures, forests, and other natural material assets as well as human capital and social trust.”
The state of culture, knowledge, art, politics, and society’s rights can be inferred from the state of infrastructure, which has caused mental, spiritual, and social injuries to millions of people.
Recently, the regime’s Deputy Minister of Health acknowledged that the economic crisis negatively affects society’s mental health, and social damage can increase.
On April 3, 2023, the state-run daily Aftab-e Yazd provided an example of the devastating impact of the regime’s policies on people’s livelihoods. The article stated that the working class and retired individuals are currently living in absolute poverty, and in the last year and a half, the number of people in absolute poverty has risen from 27% to 37%. The article attributed this increase to the regime’s policies that have made workers even poorer.