Senior Iranian clerics ask Rouhani to fight corruption

Al-Monitor – As a third day of protests erupted across major Iranian cities over the country’s worsening economic situation, the clergy in Iran is looking inward. Rather than only pointing the blame at US sanctions, the most senior clerics in Iran — often referred to as “grand ayatollahs” — are demanding that the administration and the judiciary take a harder line fighting economic corruption.

statement released Aug. 2 by the office of Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said numerous messages are being received from people asking the religious leaders to warn the country’s officials about the dire economic situation. The statement said that one of the great economic issues is inflation and the “spike in price of essential goods.” According to the statement, while many people understand the impact of sanctions, “it is not so that there are no solutions.” The statement added that many people feel “the administration’s economic team is weak,” and many are wondering why President Hassan Rouhani will not change it and hire more qualified experts.

The statement also said that many individuals are calling for the judiciary to take a harder line against those behind economic corruption, adding that if 10 to 20 individuals behind a corrupt network were to be apprehended, receive maximum punishment and have all of their wealth confiscated in a matter of “months and not years,” then this would stop the volume of corruption taking place. “The people want a judiciary that is brave, firm and that will put an end to this shameful corruption with speed,” read the statement.

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