Al-Monitor – With Iran facing more US sanctions and a battered currency, the judiciary is charging aggressively into an anti-corruption probe in the hope that it will help stabilize the economic situation. Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, Iran’s top prosecutor, told reporters on Aug. 15 that the operation will cast a wide net and further remarked, “Any official that needs to be will be summoned, from director generals to managers to deputies and [even] ministers.”
On Aug. 7, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, spokesman for the judiciary, announced the arrest of Ahmad Aragchi, deputy minister for currency at the Central Bank of Iran. He is the highest-ranking official to be arrested in the anti-corruption probe, and as the nephew to Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, he is also the most well known.
Responding in part to a request by senior clerics to quickly address cases of economic corruption, the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, on Aug. 12 had sent a 12-point letter to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, asking for permission to prosecute economic corruption cases more expeditiously. That same day, Ayatollah Khamenei reacted by publishing his response, and the letter, on his website. He granted his approval and added “with the intention that punishment of economic corruption be rapid and just.” Ayatollah Khamenei also addressed Larijani’s letter in his latest speech Aug. 12, declaring, “It is an important step for fighting corruption.”
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