Accusations of Corruption grow at Bank Mellat

Just after Rasteghar Sorkhei’s removal at Bank Mellat and just before his arrest, Tasnim News Agency wrote that Fereydoun and Rasteghar Sorkhei were long-time friends and his appointment at Bank Mellat was at the urging of Fereydoun. In another article, Tasnim News Agency lamented that the corruption at Bank Mellat has been overshadowed by the news of exorbitant salaries.

Hojat al-Islam Musa Ghazanfarabadi, head of Tehran Revolutionary Court, made headlines July 27 when he accused Fereydoun of being involved in the Bank Mellat corruption case. “I do not have exact information,” Ghazanfarabadi told Basij News, “but there is news that indicates that Fereydoun is linked to this banking corruption network.” He said the scale of corruption is so large that “one hopes it’s not true.”

Ghazanfarabadi said it is difficult for people to tolerate seeing the brother and special adviser to the president abuse his access in so many fields. He said the president should ask the judiciary to seek life in prison for his brother.

Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, spokesman for the Rouhani administration, announced July 26 that the administration has taken a number of steps in response to the exorbitant salaries. The administration has identified 13 directors and removed them from their positions, said Nobakht. He said they also introduced salary caps of 10 million toman ($3,200) for government officials and 18 million toman ($5,800) for economic bodies. Nobakht said regulatory officials will also conduct monthly inspections.

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