Hacktivist group Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice) has released documents revealing an embezzlement case related to a company managed by Iranian Supreme Leader’s brother.
According to the document, Tehran’s public and revolutionary prosecutor Ali Salehi has ordered the case not to be pursued after Ali Khamenei’s office pulled some strings.
The complaint was originally filed about a year ago apparently by the office of the president of Sadra Islamic Philosophy Foundation, run by Mohammad Khamenei, one of the brothers of Iran’s ruler, against one of its affiliate companies, a food transportation company called Caravan Transportation.
It is not clear why an institute financed by the government for research on Islamic philosophy owns a food transportation company, nor is it clear why the family business was thrown into shambles.
Four senior members of the transportation company, including Mohammad Khamenei’s own son Ahmad Hosseini Khamenei and son-in-law Vahidreza Taleghani, are among those who were to be prosecuted for acquisition of property through illegal means, according to the leaked document. However, the case was buried upon an order by Salehi, seemingly because more people, including the plaintiff, Mohammad Khamenei, and his daughter Zohreh Hosseini could have been implicated in the case.
The writer of the letter said that abuse of public property and bank cheques were proven and confessed in the case, but Salehi prevented the necessary follow-up. It was also revealed that a man, identified as Mohsen Afrasiabi, had tried to contact the prosecutor’s office, claiming that he had messages from the Supreme Leader himself and his brother Mohammad.
Political analyst Ali-Hossein Ghazizadeh told Iran International that the case is only a small example of the corruption by the family of the Supreme Leader, who is considered “sacred” by his zealous followers.
Late last year, the former chief of Iran’s state television, who used to be a regime insider before his row with the IRGC’s intelligence organizations and Khamenei’s son, revealed harrowing facts about systematic corruption in the Iranian government.
Mohammad Sarafraz, who resigned his post as head of IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) in May 2016 due to interventions in his organization’s financial operations by Khamenei’s son Mojtaba and former IRGC intelligence Chief Hossein Taeb, was one of the closest persons to Khamenei until then. The Supreme Leader later appointed Sarafraz as a member of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace. But Sarafraz says he resigned this post also, although Khamenei never accepted his resignation.
The former chief of Iran’s state Radio and TV, Mohammad Sarafraz
In an interview conducted by one of his former aides and published on You Tube, Sarafraz said that Iranian intelligence officers can even tell judges at the court what they should decide when ruling on various cases.
Sarafraz accused the government and the banking system of systematic corruption that has led to vast income gaps among Iranians. He said most of this corruption exists in companies that enjoy the benefits of private firms but are in fact controlled by the government when they are paying taxes or reporting their financial status. These companies, he said, leave no room for competition from real private businesses.
Eighty percent of Iran’s economy is directly or indirectly controlled by the government or semi-official companies. A privatization drive that began 15 years ago mainly turned into setting up quasi-governmental firms controlled by powerful insiders who block competition and use public funds to stay afloat.