The political system in Iran is unique in terms of theory and inner organization. In fact, the word “Islamic Republic” could be replaced with the keyword “Republic of Sultans,” because from any aspect we look at the mullahs’ regime in its entirety, we see plenty of institutions creating and raising corruption.
Corruption has been defined in various way but Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” Corruption is like a disease in the political, economic and administrative structures and institutions. Researchers have divided corruption into different aspects. They include political, economic and administrative corruption; structural and behavioral corruption; or single and systematic corruption as well as other divisions.
The Iranian regime’s structural corruption is currently the most devastating form of corruption. If structure is an almost durable relationship between the members and components of a whole under a collection of values, principles, rules and etiquette, the Iranian regime’s structure, which is inseparable from corruption, has ravished the entire social and economic system.
The emergence of vast corruption within the regime’s governing pillars, the publishing of its news even by the state-run media, people publicly sensing discrimination, the huge gap between social classes, and the accumulation of some privileged individuals while most of the population live under the poverty line are undeniable truths. Therefore, the army of unemployed and hungry people could be seen both within and around the cities.
The governing body’s insufficiency and economic problems, such as inflation and unemployment, systematic corruption of all the institutions including the government, parliament, Judiciary and military institutions, implementing harsh and inhumane rules on lifestyle which have limited social freedom, high social dissatisfaction and violence used against it such as the one used during Iran protests in November and January, the cover-up and deceit which could be seen during the Ukrainian passenger jet downing and all the social classes disappointment are the least achievements of the inglorious “Republic of Sultans.”
Clearly, all the regime’s theorists at different levels give warnings in this regard.
Saied Hajarian, a ‘reformist’ theorist who was unsuccessfully assassinated by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) forces on March 12, 2000, and is currently a top theorist to the regime’s so-called “reformist” faction, in an article titled “Forty years, the beginning of the end or a fresh beginning,” published on January 26, 2019, wrote:
“It seems that if we continue our path in the future with the same method that we did within the last forty years, we will fall into the valley of downfall and deterioration. Therefore, we should have a new plan. The main noble human life index in Iran warns us. Abiding by law, unemployment and inflation rate, economic growth rate, GDP, transparency, democracy, corruption, environmental pollution, inequality and social harm, piles of judiciary cases etc. do not promise an honorable human life, and we know that we cannot rely on oppression for handling the situation.”
By emphasizing indicators of an “honorable life” which has been deprived from the Iranian people, Hajarian confirmed that the “Republic of Sultans” is about to collapse. Although this security element of the regime has no worries for the Iranian people’s freedom and lives, and he only cares for the regime’s survival.
In a part of his article titled “The third way: enriching institutions” published on March 2, 2019, he wrote:
“Indicators and statistics are foretelling an undesirable situation for future generations. Such a situation will result in a reduction of reserves, over increasing of migration and slum-dwellers and finally social harms such as coercion, beggary and depravity. As I previously wrote, our government simultaneously faces tests of legitimacy and efficiency, and if it does not resolve these two issue the situation will be the same; and administrative corruption, rent distribution and patronage will eat at the government lie a termite.”
Although Hajarian addressed the regime’s current government, he clearly saw the so-called “termite” attack on the entire rotten regime and warned about it.
Besides the admission of the regime’s security elements, a quick glimpse at the news and density of arrests by the regime’s judiciary confirms how “corruption” has spread across this system. Therefore, discovering and execution various “Sultans” within the last few years was not irrelevant.
The “Coin Sultan” and the “Bitumen Sultan” were executed; and the Sultans of sugar, oil, carpet and gas, rice, iron and even diapers and medicine were one after another exposed in the state-run media.
These Sultans fish in troubled waters. The existence, increase and level of their success is because of the regime’s lack of transparency, rents, critical situation and inefficient rules, full of political and economic wavers. These Sultans’ survival is conditioned to the existence of a security umbrella, which is provided by the Revolutionary Guards.
Some of these Sultans are direct and close relatives of some of the regime’s politicians. Their growth without support from those holding onto power and richness in society is a myth and unrealistic. The corruption of some of the regime’s officials and their children, wining extrajudicial points within the last few years, have become a ground for growth and boasting by these Sultans.
Therefore, using the word “Republic of Sultans” is not irrelevant.
The IRGC’s military intervention and its oppressive support of these Sultans and their deeds have created a supercritical situation for the regime. A supercritical situation which increases monthly and declines Iran’s national wealth.
Therefore, making the effort to expose parts of this collapsing body could portray a clear image of the future of the “Republic of Sultans.”
To find a comprehensive image in different parts, it has been tried to put the regime’s extensive corruption into order. Although the chaos of this system has made it difficult to find a precise and detailed method of searching this corrupted system, but hopefully it will shed light on the situation for everyone.