By INU Staff
INU - Last week, Donald Trump told the UN General Assembly that the Iranian people are “rightly outraged” at their rulers who have “embezzled billions of dollars from Iran’s treasury, seized valuable portions of the economy, and looted the people’s religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war”.
He was right. The Iranian people have been protesting against the Regime and in favour of regime change since last December, highlighting the fact that the mullahs have stolen their money.
Worse still, despite the international attention that is now focused on Iran’s malign activities thanks to the brave Iranian people and the US government, who have imposed major sanctions, the Regime is still trying to carry on as ‘normal’.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to embezzle a great amount of money from the City Council of Tehran back in July. The Council’s spokesperson said that the IRGC Cooperative Foundation, which manages the IRGC’s investments, had illegally taken more than $1 billion from the city; money that should have been going to better services for the people of Tehran.
Then, in August, a former council member accused Bagher Ghalibaf, mayor of Tehran from 2005-2017 and former IRGC commander, of deliberately giving multiple contracts to the IRGC and facilitating the corruption. Finally, in September, the head of the City Council said that this has led to a halt of IRGC-led business transactions in Tehran; something that has caused significant problems because the IRGC is Tehran’s sole mega-contractor.
This highlights how important it is to focus in on Iran’s financial abuses, as well as impose sanctions on the mullahs to constrain and isolate them. The IRGC and those affiliated with the Regime will always attempt to enrich themselves, while the people of Iran live in poverty.
Saeed Ghasseminejad, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote: “These events illustrate how the IRGC’s business dealings constitute a front for its larger efforts to fund its terrorist activities and enrich its commanders. As the Trump administration moves to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran in the coming months, it should work to isolate this key node of the clerical regime’s financial empire.”
Despite several prominent corruption arrests of IRGC commanders affiliated with the IRGC Cooperative Foundation in 2017, including of some people on the US sanctions list, the Iranian Regime will not solve this problem that they benefit from. They must be overthrown by the Iranian people.