Will Leaked Payslips Scandal bring down Rouhani?

Al-Monitor asked longtime conservative political strategist Amir Mohebbian about the reasons for the sudden emergence of the leaks. He told Al-Monitor he believes that the leaks “definitely have a political purpose,” but added, “At the same time, they are aimed at creating more economic transparency.” Mohebbian added, “Various political factions jumped on the bandwagon and began the blame game when they saw the public backlash.”

A great portion of the Rouhani administration’s response to the public outcry has been to heap blame on previous administrations. But will this be enough? Mohebbian told Al-Monitor, “The wrong culture of high salaries undoubtedly stems from the past, but because the current government showed no opposition to that trend, its excuses are unacceptable.”

Mohammad Kajbaf, a telecommunications engineer, told Al-Monitor that he doesn’t see the leaks as a scandal because “If it were, the government would have felt ashamed of it.” Kajbaf expressed anger, noting that he’s saddened to see excessive executive pay “while there is rampant injustice, discrimination and poverty in society.” He also blamed former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for not spilling the beans on such officials sooner.

Masoud Sadeqi, an entrepreneur in Tehran, expressed sorrow to Al-Monitor but said neither the incumbent government nor the previous one is responsible for the situation. Sadeqi said he thinks the problem lies with the lack of transparency and oversight, and believes the recent embarrassment is not the first nor will it be the last unless legislators take the issue of supervision and inspection seriously.

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