Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei declared war Monday, May 1, on economic corruption. In a decree, presented by all official media, Khamenei called "for all regime institutions, the government, courts, parliament to unleash a fierce and organized battle to clean up the economy".
"Today, the country needs sound economic activities, notably for the demand for employment. This is why we must cut off the hands of those who enrich themselves from the state at the expense of the people," he said.
"We must tear out at the roots this sickness which eats away at our economy and fight the economic and financial corruption." Khamenei demanded Iranian intelligence services be drafted in the battle against corruption as well as the courts and parliament
Iran is plagued by high unemployment, with unemployment hitting 15 percent of the working population of 20 million persons. The courts, a stronghold of Iran's powerful conservatives, had already announced that it would wage a campaign against economic corruption.
"The bribery, as well as contradictory regulations, are gnawing away on the Iranian economy," judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi was quoted as saying by newspapers on April 10.
He named a taskforce of former intelligence minister Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi as well as Ibrahim Raissi, who heads the state inspectorate-general, to fight those "who enrich themselves to the detriment of society."
Shahrudi said the unit would be "the headquarters for the war against economic crimes and will fight the mortal and subversive illnesses of our economy." — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)