20 former Iranian officials arrested on financial corruption charges
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 9
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Twenty middle-ranking managers of the administration of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahamdinejad have been arrested on financial corruption charges.
Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said the violations are related to incidents between March 2010 and March 2013, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on Dec. 8.
The financial corruption case was disclosed last year and the suspected persons were identified and arrested, he said.
For the time being, three out of the twenty persons are in jail, he said, adding that 30 other persons have been summoned to give more details about the issue.
A 120- trillion-rial (about $3.5 billion) bank fraud case has been recently disclosed in Iran.
Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia said the fraud case took place between 2006 and 2012. However, all the money has been returned to the banking system.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called on the heads of the three branches of the Iranian government (the administration, the Majlis and the Judiciary) to fight corruption.
"Take decisive and operational decisions without any consideration [in regards to the guilty official's rank]," Iran's leader said in a message to a national conference on fighting corruption on Dec. 8.
Iran stood at 136th place among 175 countries in terms of the Corruption Perceptions in 2014, Transparency International said in its annual report released Dec. 3.
The Corruption Perceptions index ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The index assigns scores of between one and 100, one being highly corrupt and 100 clean.
Iran obtained a score of 27 in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions index, while the country's score in 2013 index stood at 25.
The Islamic Republic has improved its rank by eight steps compared to 2013, meanwhile compared to 2012, Iran's rank has fallen three steps from 133.
The country's rank started falling during the administration of ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005 - 2013).
The worse ranking belongs to 2009, when Iran ranked 168.