Iran’s Creeping Corruption

Holocaust denier, illegitimate president, and now–crook? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been called a lot of things since his disputed election last June and it doesn’t look like the pressure is going to ease up. Last week, Transparency International ranked Iran a miserable ninth from the bottom in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index. What’s particularly damning about this ranking is that corruption has nearly doubled under Ahmadinejad’s watch: Iran had a score of 2.9 out of 10 in 2005, the first year of his presidency, and now sits uncomfortably at 1.8, a 38 percent drop.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed inside the country. A special parliamentary commission, which has been investigating the Ahmadinejad government’s privatization of state-run companies during the past three and a half years, presented their findings last week. The commission blasted the government’s privatization efforts, claiming that the management of privatized companies was never handed over in many cases. “Unfortunately, there are corrupt individuals from the top to the bottom of this government,” Ahmad Tavakoli, the head of the Parliament research center, said in Parliament last week.

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One shady deal was singled out by the commission: the recent sale of the Telecommunication Company … >>>

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