Iran expert says corruption ‘No. 1 national security threat in Iran’

Al-Monitor | : Al-Monitor contributor and economic analyst Bijan Khajehpour highlighted corruption as a major reason why the Iranian government was so slow in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic during an exclusive webinar today with Al-Monitor President Andrew Parasiliti.

“If I were in charge of Iran, I would clear corruption as the No. 1 national security threat in Iran,” said Khajehpour. “If you go back to the question of why was Iran so slow in responding to the crisis, part of it was certainly this because the professionals, the technocrats who would have understood the dimensions of this crisis, were not in the right place. And if they were there, they were completely demotivated because of corruption and mismanagement.”

Still, he sounded a cautiously optimistic note on the Iranian economy’s ability to recover from the double threats of coronavirus and crippling US sanctions, noting that 50% of the Iranian economy is service-based despite the collapse of the petroleum sector.

Read more here