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Iran’s Seminaries Are Being Funded Out of the People’s Pockets

Despite the unbridled poverty in Iran, while more than 60 percent of the people live under the poverty line the Iranian regime has increased the budget of its seminaries in the budget of 2022.

In the 2022 budget bill, the budgets of the Iran regime’s religious organizations and institutions were not announced. According to this non-transparent bill, the budget of the seminary service center has increased by 100 percent compared to last year.

The first that the Iranian government determined a budget for the regime’s seminaries were during Mohamad Khatami’s government. Since then, the seminaries are appropriating a huge amount of the countries budget to themselves. Criticism of the budget of seminaries rises every year in the budgeting season. Because their output and performance, which are funded by the state budget, are unclear.

The seminaries and their affiliated institutions, as well as foundations and institutions that are outside the bodies related to the three branches of the government and belong to specific individuals and specific subjects, did not have a line in the country’s budget in the first years of after the revolution.

Now for many years, the Iranian regime is putting a heavy burden on the impoverishing people with the budget of the seminaries.

This created such a critical situation for the regime because facing the people’s increasing hatred that some of its officials criticized the allocated budget and request the cutoff of this budget. But every time we are witnessing a significant increase in this budget.

According to the 2022 budget bill, which is not a transparent and detailed bill, the budget of the seminary service center is about $107 million, which was in the 2021 budget bill about $35 million.

According to the bill, the budget share of the seminary service center is more than the Environmental Protection Organization. The budget of the Environment Organization in the budget bill of 2022 is $72 million.

In the budget of 2021, the religious apparatus received a budget of $250 million, some of which were separately more than the budget of organizations such as the General Staff of the Crisis of the country.

Now, in the seventh table of the 2022 budget bill, the executive budget of some religious institutions and organizations is written. But not completely, because the budget of endowments and charitable organizations, Islamic culture and communications and institutions such as Al-Mustafa Al-Alamiyah University, Qom Seminary Islamic Propaganda Office, Islamic Propaganda Organization Art Center, etc., which have a large share of the budget of religious organizations. They always allocate a lot of cash to their high share of the budget, their share in 2022 is not announced in the current budget bill.

For example, the budget of the Al-Mustafa University, one of the main recipients of the state budget, grew by 75 percent in the 2020 budget compared to 2019. With this increase in budget, the Al-Mustafa University had achieved budgets equivalent to the budget of the country’s education organization.

The important point is that the Al-Mustafa University, unlike all universities and scientific centers in the country, also has tax exemptions.

It seems that this year, to avoid all kinds of criticism the regime did not announce the receiving budget of Al-Mustafa and other controversial organizations.

But numbers that have been announced are illustrative. For example, the Islamic Propaganda Organization budget has increased from about $3 million to $19 million, which is an increase of 43 percent. The budget of the Supreme Council of Seminaries has increased from about $50,000 to 80 thousand tomans with is an increase of 37 percent.

Also, the budget of the Policy Council of the Sister’s Seminary has increased by 18 percent from about $14 million to about $16 million.

Imam Khomeini Publishing Institute’s budget increased 124 percent and has reached about $3 million. Computer Research Center for Islamic Sciences increased 53 percent and reached $1.4 million. The budget of the Islamic and Iranian Model of Progress Center increased 158 percent and reached $800,000.

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