The two men have been identified as Youniss Bahaoddini and Dariush Ebrahimian Bilandi. They have been accused of planning and carrying out a scheme that has seen them pocket 150 trillion rials – or around $36 million USD – from the Iranian banking and economic network.
The judiciary’s Mizan news website reported that the “Special Court for Combatting Economic Corruption” issued the verdict.
Another Iranian, Mohammad Bahaoddini, has been sentenced to ten years in prison and Davood Katebi was sentenced to seven years. Three other individuals – Iman Pahlavani, Morteza Katebinejad and Reza Nader – were each given a five-year sentence.
The Iranian economy has been suffering for a long time and the people of Iran have been calling the regime out on its mismanagement of resources. The economic situation is set to get worse now that all the U.S. sanctions are in place.
Earlier this year, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be exiting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA). He said that crippling economic sanctions would be re-imposed and said that his administration would be applying a maximum pressure campaign with the aim of cutting the regime off from the funds that allow it to support terrorist militias and proxy groups across the region.
Iran Regime’s leader Ali Khamenei said not long after the United States announced its exit from the deal that the Iranian regime would set up “special courts” that would deal efficiently with “financial crimes” and punish those that “disrupt economic security”.
Khamenei gave these special courts the authority to make their verdicts final and legally binding, with the exception of the death penalty. Many have said that it goes against the country’s constitution to make any verdict final. However, it would not be the first time in the country’s recent history that individuals are denied the right to appeal.
Even though Khamenei has said that the special courts cannot make a final and binding decision with regards to the death penalty, several have already been handed out. The Islamic Republic’s Supreme Court has already upheld the death penalty for Wahid Mazloomin and Mohammad Esma’eil Qassemi.
Ever since President Trump announced that the U.S. would be exiting the deal, the country’s national currency plummeted and many international companies pulled out of their business dealings with the country.
As usual the Iranian regime tried to pin the blame on others, shirking responsibility and saying that there is a “foreign conspiracy”. However, the people are very well aware that most of the problems are down to the regime’s mismanagement and the billions it spends on its foreign adventures.
There is a lot more to be done than arresting and imprisoning people for economic crimes. The regime needs to look a little closer to home.