0745 GMT March 20, 2019
President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday the people’s questions over some multimillion-dollar corruption cases should be answered, warning that if this does not happen, “we will lose public confidence, which is worse than losing billions of dollars”.
He made the remarks during a meeting of the community of supervision and inspection of the government, ministries, organizations and governor general’s offices.
The president added that the Islamic Republic’s biggest property is public confidence and social asset, underlining that the government should do its utmost not to lose these assets.
President Rouhani underscored that the administration attaches great importance to supervision and inspection in running the country, reiterating that lack of supervision would increase the likelihood of corruption in the society.
“In spite of the fact that there are several supervisory bodies in the country, how did the three billion-dollar embezzlement happen in the previous government’s tenure?” the President asked.
Babak Zanjani, an Iranian business tycoon, has been sentenced to death for embezzlement of almost three billion dollars of the country’s oil revenues.
In March, the court of first instance convicted Zanjani and two accomplices of “spreading corruption on earth,” and sentenced them to death. The three defendants were also ordered to repay funds embezzled from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and other state organizations.
“Violation of the law by a group is more important than that of an individual. These things should be clearly explained to the people,” said the president.
He added that “Inspections should focus more on root causes in amending the laws and its practices”.