IRGC Mafia Corruption in the mullahs’ regime
The coronavirus pandemic has different consequences. Creating inclusive fear, disease, and death, forcing people to stay home, unemployment, and preventing small or big economies from flourishing are its negative aspects. Creating mobility, dynamism in some societies to combat this virus by increasing a sense of collaboration, reinforcing public and hygienic attitudes, increasing social solidarity, dynamism, and the spirit of sacrifice in some countries are the positive aspects of this virus.
But what happens in Iran is totally different from other countries.
Iranian society has been taken hostage by the mullahs’ regime and is the victim of the regime’s devastating policies; meanwhile, it must rid itself of the coronavirus.
The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) militarizes sanitation
The state-run Sobh-e Sadeq weekly, which belongs to the IRGC’s political bureau, in an article published on April 15 in its edition number 946 wrote:
“Following the orders by the Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] to initiate a vast movement of the faithful to help poor people in the holy month of Ramadan, with the initiative of the IRGC’s commander in Chief [Hossein Salami], a meeting of heads of supportive institutions at the IRGC’s headquarters was held. During this meeting, which was attended by the Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, head of the Mostazafan Foundation of the Islamic Revolution, head of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee and head of the Mobilization Resistance Force (Basij), it was approved that a headquarters, named after Imam Hassan [the second Shiite Imam], consisting of supportive institutions and the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, will take the responsibility of making policies, organizing, planning and implementing plans of helping the poor and those in need in the society.”
Creating the IRGC’s “Imam Hassan Headquarters” shows that a situation, which could improve by specialized health and medical bodies with the help of international organizations, has now been limited to a military frame and military regulations by the IRGC.
On the other hand, the IRGC’s mafia is willing to relocate urban slum-dwellers from their place of residence under the pretext of the coronavirus.
The state-run Basirat website, which is affiliated with the IRGC, published an article on April 12, by a person called Parvin Mirzaie. The article which was titled: Reverse migration: an effective tool in combatting coronavirus in Iran. The return of urban slum-dwellers to villages,” read:
“Summarizing what has been said, it seems that while the outskirts of Iran’s metropolitan areas have become a coronavirus hotspot due to the population density, and the disease is likely to persist for a long time, reverse migration of workers to villages, who are mostly slum-dwellers, can be an effective solution. Given that the real and virtual communication infrastructure of the villages is in good condition, encouraging the country’s marginalized population to reverse migration to the villages and reviving agriculture with scientific and principled use of seasonal rains, in addition to easier disease control, can also affect the income of this group. It will also prevent them from migrating to neighboring countries (which also causes irreparable damages) and will complete the production cycle of agricultural products domestically and will prevent us from importing these items during the current global crisis.”
The IRGC intends to change the urban fabric of cities. In this way, instead of resolving the crisis, the IRGC intends to erase the problem. It seeks to prevent a tsunami of anger from poor and deprived people living in the suburbs and shantytowns.
Meanwhile, on March 1, Brigadier General Majid Khorasani, the director of the IRGC’s Cooperative Foundation, which is responsible for the IRGC’s logistics and supports, in an interview with the state-run Sobh-e Sadeq said:
“The second wave of the IRGC’s housing project started last week, during a video communication at the office of the IRGC’s Commander in chief This was on the eve of the Fatima-al Zahra’s birthday [the daughter of the prophet of Islam]. In this wave, 15 provinces have implemented a five-year program to provide housing for employees. Out of these 15 provinces, 9 provinces have started their projects and 6 provinces have started their design programs. The Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC has ordered the implementation of 10,000 units in 15 provinces. Therefore, almost part of this five-year program has been launched.”
In another part of his interview, Khorasani acknowledged:
For example, he [Khamenei] emphasized that anyone who is in the armed forces should know that after the end of his service, he will have a house, and then he will no longer have a housing problem. Elsewhere, they say, help the employees with 15 years of service to be homeowners. In a recent meeting with IRGC commanders, he [Khamenei] emphasized that the housing and livelihood of the IRGC forces should be considered. In the first meeting with the Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC in the new year, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, who had just been appointed, the Supreme Leader emphasized the need to address the human resources and livelihood issues of the IRGC forces.
The second wave of the housing project for the Revolutionary Guards shows that on the one hand, the country’s budget is spent on the livelihood and housing of the IRGC and the military, but on the other hand, they plan to relocate and emigrate the poor slum-dwellers.
Therefore, the regime’s armed forces are not concerned about the coronavirus or slum-dwellers. They are concerned about the possible social effect of the coronavirus and its outcome, which prompted them to come up with these plans.
On the other hand, the state-run Sobh-e Sadeq weekly on April 11 reported that there will be “a nationwide military parade of the Basij with over 54,000 bases at its core.” This military parade is being held under the pretext of helping poor people amid the coronavirus outbreak and will last until the end of Ramadan.
Most importantly, the IRGC’s officials and criminal military forces of the Islamic Republic plundering and corruption has reached a height that they are trying everything to erase their effects. For instance, to prevent a popular uprising or the riot of the army of hungry people by staging these shows.
The Iranian regime’s main oppressive bodies are grappling with various crises along with the coronavirus crisis, including the competition between Judiciary corrupt crooks.
The competition between two Mafias, the Larijani clan and Ebrahim Raisi (the current judiciary chief), in the main pyramid of the power, was demonstrated by the arrest of Akbar Tabari-Pour. Akbar Tabari was the Executive Vice President and Director General of Finance of the Judiciary for more than 20 years.
He was, until the very last working days in March 2019, the executive deputy of Sadeq Amoli-Larijani, then head of the regime’s judiciary. But in an unusual move, Raisi fired him.
Who is Akbar Tabari-Pour
For the past 20 years, Akbar Tabari-Pour has held senior positions in the regime’s judiciary. The website of the Executive Vice President of the Judiciary, which he was its director-general until March 2019, shows that he has supervised many recreational, economic and construction projects.
The Shah-e Cheraq residential and recreational complex in the city of Shiraz, the Judiciary’s dental subspecialty center, Shiraz, Mashhad, and Sarein water complex and swimming pools and the grand cultural and recreational Milad complex in Mashhad are among the projects Tabari oversaw and initiated. He was also a member of Iran’s Kung Fu and Martial Arts Federation’s board of directors.
Reports indicate that back in the 1990s and early 2000s he was active in automobile manufacturing and the Iran Khodro company.
In the last years of Amoli-Larijani tenure as head of the regime’s Judiciary, there were numerous financial charges against him on a large scale in the country. Finally, after infighting between Raisi and Larijani, two rival factions within the supreme leader’s faction, in March 2019, Akbar Tabari was arrested by the IRGC’s intelligence. The arrest of Tabari confirmed the penetration of corruption into a system that claims it is holding justice and fighting corruption in the country.
It is said that Tabari’s arrest was done by the direct order of Ebrahim Raisi, the Judiciary chief and he is personally following the case to prevent any error from happening. To confirm this claim, we could refer to Raisi’s speech on the sidelines of the 7th session of the regime’s Assembly of Experts’ fifth term, during which without naming Tabari, he said:
“In the Judiciary itself, we faced astonishing cases of bribery. These bribes include 600 square meter apartments and 4,000 square meter villas in the north of Iran which are unique in their kind. Of course, suspects were arrested, and their illegitimate belongings were confiscated.” After a while, it was revealed that what Raisi referred to were some parts of Tabari’s case.
Simultaneous with Tabari’s arrests, Gholamhossain Esmaili, the Judiciary’s spokesperson, in October 2019, counted influencing in cases and some wrong connections as some of the reasons for Akbar Tabari’s arrest, who was the former Executive Vice President of the Judiciary. The Judiciary’s spokesperson announced the arrest of 17 people involved in Tabari’s case and pointed out that two of them are judges, one currently employed and one retired.
Ten months after Tabari’s arrest, his trial is set to begin in April-May 2020. This could reopen cases within the regime and result in extensive tension on the main layers of power.
IRGC’s role and two leaker elements.
The IRGC has taken all of Iran’s economic channels hostage. The IRGC’s elements have infiltrated all economic fields and are earning funds and creating jobs for the IRGC. But, when it comes to the infightings, some main officials are replaced at “top”, some elements are tried in between, and they begin some huge revelations to the press.
A quick glimpse at some examples in recent years speaks for itself.
For the first time, in August 2017, Gholamhossain Mohseni-Ejeie, then Judiciary’s spokesperson, confirmed the arrest of Isa Sharifi, deputy of Mohsen Ghalibaf, the former mayor of Tehran. In May 2019, Gholam-Abbas Torki, Tehran’s military attorney spoke of Sharifi’s case as “the so-called municipality case” and said this case has other defendants. Like Ejei, Torki announced the charge of this high municipality official as “financial.”
Who is Isa Sharifi
During Ghalibaf’s 12-year term as Tehran’s mayor, Isa Sharifi, without any sidelines and while rarely giving an interview, was by his side. Sharifi’s name was tied with cases of properties of astronomical value belonging to the municipality. These were lands and houses which were granted to some of the regime’s governmental, military, and judiciary officials, much cheaper than their real price.
Shortly after his resignation, Sharifi was arrested with financial charges and he was subsequently released on a “heavy” bail. According to Mohsen Hashemi, head of the Tehran City Council in December 2017, “it was reported that [Sharifi’s] heavy bail was provided by a group known as ‘Isfahanies.’”
In January 2020, Esmaili, the Judiciary’s spokesperson, regarding the latest conditions of Isa Sharifi’s case, said: “The report of his release is a total lie and he is still in prison. The indictment of this case has been issued and the sessions are being held within the Armed Forces Judiciary Organization.” Esmaili’s remarks leave no doubt of Sharifi’s connection with the IRGC.
Although Isa Sharifi gained his reputation in the early 2000s as an urban manager, but he was one of the IRGC’s Aerospace commanders during the Iran-Iraq war. State-run media in Iran refer to him as an “IRGC brigadier general.”
Some of Sharifi’s accusations are in connection with the “Yas Holding” which is one of the subcategories of the IRGC Cooperation Bonyad and this institution’s 4-trillion-toman (around $250 million) debt to Tehran’s municipality.
Twice, when Ghalibaf became a presidential nominee, Sharifi supervised Tehran’s Municipality. The outcome of Sharifi’s case is very much dependent on IRGC’s relation with Ghalibaf. Because Ghalibaf is currently a strong option for the speaker of the next parliament.
Another element, affiliated with the IRGC, and whose name was heard very much in the last two years in many corruption cases, is Hossein Hedayati.
What did Hossein Hedayati do?
Hossein Hedayati was born in 1963 in Tehran. He is known as a capitalist and sports manager. In May 2019, he was charged with disruption of the country’s economic system and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Hedayati, in an interview with the state-run Peyk-e Daneshjoo website on November 22, 2014, said:
“I was honored to be in the IRGC. When I left the IRGC, Brigadier General Hossein Dehgan was the commander of the IRGC’s Air Force and our zone. He told me it was good for you to leave; you are better for the economy. At that time, the IRGC gave us around 2500 tomans as a reward. I used it to purchase gold coins. These things were the blessing of my life. I purchased some properties that later were worth billions of tomans. For example, I once purchased a piece of land for 2 billion tomans, recently a purchaser bought it from me for 300 hundred billion tomans. Whatever I earned, I used it to purchase land, and all that I have comes from land. For instance, in the early 90s, I purchased a piece of land for 21 billion tomans, now they buy it at 160 billion tomans. So, what shall I do, the land prices have increased? Economic managers should answer why. In my humble opinion, the creation of wealth is a form of worshipping God. A Muslim man who pays his taxes creates jobs.”
In another interview with the Karkhane-dar [Factory owner] magazine in May 2018, which was republished by the state-run Asr-e Iran website in August 2018, Hedayati said:
“In 1981, I entered the IRGC with a Mercedes-Benz model 280 of 1976. So, one of the reasons for me to leave the IRGC was that they told me you do not have the right to enter and exit with a Benz. So many lied that Hedayati plundered and left the IRGC. I was a staff member in the IRGC and had no management in the financial department. During the Iran-Iraq war, I had five gardens and villas, that whenever my friends and I returned from the front, they use to say: ‘let us go to Hedayati’s garden in Lavasan.’ I served for six years in the IRGC during the war and my salary was around 1900 tomans. I decided to use my money to purchase properties. In 1986, I purchased my current villa in Lavasanat [near Tehran] for 100,000 tomans. Now it is worth more than 100 billion tomans.”
The IRGC’s interference with such an element in the country’s economic structure has practically paralyzed so many of the country’s institutions.
According to the state-run ISNA news agency, during his trial on March 18, 2019, Hedayati said: “For taking a loan out with a mortgage, they call me an economic disruptor. I wish I was able to speak about the Resistance Front and ISIS issues.”
Hedayati’s reference to the “Resistance Front” could be about his possible financial help to the IRGC’s forces in Iraq and Syria.
He also said: “The Iranian ambassador in Turkey, during the previous government, took 21 billion tomans from me. It has been four years since his indictment, yet his court has not been held.”
During his trial, Hedayati also declared that he helped 250 billion tomans go to 14 sports federations in Iran.
He said: “Mr. Taj (Head of the regime’s Soccer Federation] took $2 billion from me and he confirmed it. I told him several times to get a license from the IRGC or Prosecutor’s office for taking money from me. But he said I gave three names for receiving money and they said you could only take it from Hossein Hedayati.”
Hedayati’s remarks, who was one of the IRGC’s elements among economic activists, shows some signs of currency transfer to the Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria. It could also be a clue as to how the regime is circumventing sanctions. This matter shows how the IRGC has been relocating billions of dollars through such elements.
Another notable point is that in May 2019, Hamid Hajian, a lawyer, was killed in the Kamranieh district of Tehran with three bullets. Hedayati had earlier mentioned Hajian during his defense.
Hamid Hajian, 41, was killed just hours after the sentencing of Hossein Hedayati.
During one of his court sessions, while referring to Hamid Hajian, Hedayati said: “Go to Hamid Hajian, who is an influential lawyer and has looted 50 billion tomans from me. He said he will sue me if I say his name.”
This matter indicates that the IRGC eliminates any clues and witnesses who could be a potential threat for more revelations of funds relocation and bank accounts.
In this section, which has referred to a part of the IRGC’s record, we can at least see that we are dealing not with a government but with a mafia. The Islamic Republic is run by mafias guarded by the Revolutionary Guards, and corruption within the mafia must be addressed from several angles.