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Source: Iranintl

May 27, 2023

City Council Reports $400M Financial Irregularities In Tehran Municipality

A member of Tehran City Council says financial irregularities worth nearly 400 million dollars have been reported in Tehran municipality.

Nasser Amani said on Friday that the mayor of Tehran, Alireza Zakani has approved such a corruption in a press conference.There are no details about the sector in which this irregularity has happened or who has been behind it.

However, in his press conference earlier this month Zakani refused to announce any names saying that he is only interested in fighting against corruption.“One of the amounts we want to get back is 400 million dollars.

We do not hesitate to take back the rights of the people,” said Zakani during his press conference on May 1.

Tehran mayor Alireza Zakani

Within the past weeks, there were several reports on the arrest of people close to Zakani in his office, however the ultra-conservative mayor of Tehran tries to blame the previous government for being behind the corruption.

“The financial corruption of several employees of Tehran municipality were discovered with the admirable vigilance of security organizations, and the case was sent to the judicial authorities," claimed the Municipality Spokesman Abdol-Taher Mohammadkhani earlier this month.

Tehran municipality is known for corruption cases. A large-scale corruption was revealed during the mayoral tenure of Mohammd Baqer Qalibaf (Ghalibaf) who is currently the country’s parliament speaker.

His successors claimed that more than $5 billion was misappropriated or wasted during Qalibaf’s term as mayor from 2005 to 2017.

Qalibaf has been accused of financial corruption a few times over the last decades. But the cases have been dismissed without being investigated, with observers attributing this to his relationship with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Last year, a leaked audio file of IRGC commanders discussing massive financial corruption involving Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Qalibaf raised a storm in Iran.

The 50-minute audio-file includes a conversationbetween the former IRGC Commander Mohammad-Ali Jafari and his Economic Affairs Deputy Sadegh Zolghadr in 2018 about corruption involving IRGC's Qods Force and Tehran municipality headed by Qalibaf.

The discussion in the recording directly involved Qalibaf, former Qods Force Commander Ghasem Soleimani, IRGC Coordination Deputy Jamaloddin Aberoumand, and Chief of the IRGC Intelligence Organization Hossein Taeb in covering up the embezzlement of 80,000 billion rials (around $3 billion at the time) between Tehran municipality and a firm controlled by the IRGC.

The money was mainly intended for funding the activities of Qods Force but somehow disappeared in the dealings between the municipality and Yas Holding, a subsidiary of IRGC's Cooperatives Foundation active in services, dealership, and subcontracting in the housing sector.

Yas Holding was officially dissolved in 2018, two years after its establishment, following the arrest of some of its officials. Four of the accused, including Qalibaf's deputy in Tehran municipality, Isa Sharifi, were put on trial and were sentenced to long prison terms and returning some of the huge sums they had embezzled.

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