Majlis

Will bill to protect Iranian whistleblowers really expose corruption?

Al-Monitor | : With the signatures of 94 lawmakers, a bill has been presented to the Iranian parliament’s presiding board, titled, “Support for Whistleblowers of Economic and Administrative Corruption.” If approved by the presiding board, the bill could become law and facilitate the government campaign to fight corruption.

Tackling corruption has been on the Iranian government’s agenda since the mid-2000s. In fact, the above mentioned bill was initiated based on a 2008 law, “Promotion of Administrative Compliance.” However, the net result of the various anti-corruption initiatives — including regular meetings between the heads of the three branches of power — have not borne any fruit. In 2014, President Hassan Rouhani even went as far as calling corruption a “national security threat” to the survival of the Islamic Republic. Representatives of the business community have also pointed to corruption and mismanagement as the most significant threats to the country’s economy. According to Transparency International’s corruption index, the situation in Iran has deteriorated in the past few years; in 2018, Iran ranked 138 out of 180 countries.

There is no doubt that the failure in pushing back against corrupt practices is rooted in a number of political, legal and cultural realities. Similar to other crises in Iran, there has been a wealth of studies and analyses in the country on the root causes of growing corruption. Phenomena such as the availability of government rents, the size of the government, legal and administrative deficiencies, social and cultural realities, and economic shortcomings have been recognized for decades, but the political elite has been unable or unwilling to address these issues.

Read more here