Baku, Azerbaijan, May 12
By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:
Recent corruption allegations against a senior Iranian insurance official have triggered hot media debates.
Following serious allegations by mostly conservative and hardline media, accusing Central Insurance Company of Iran of paying unusually high salaries to a group of its senior managers, Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayebnia set up a group to investigate the issue.
The outcome of the investigations suggested that the payments were all legal, made within the law. the mentioned media reports were described as "wrong interpretations".
However, Head of Central Insurance Company of Iran Mohammad Ebrahim Amin, offended by the harsh accusations, resigned following the announcement on the outcome of the investigations.
In a letter to Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayebnia, the former head of the state-run insurance company said that it was impossible for him to proceed, as his honesty has been questioned.
Criticism against Central Insurance Company of Iran sparked after Iranian media published copies of the payslips of three managers at the mentioned company, who were receiving unusually high payments.
Reacting to the media reports on the payments, Central Insurance Company of Iran announced that the mentioned figures in the reports were the sum of delayed payments of the past seven years, and they were all settled at once.
In the meantime, Iran's Supreme Audit Cour has confirmed that the managers who received the payments, have returned the total sum to the company's banking account, a move aimed at showing good will.
Supreme Audit Court also announced that the court will continue to probe into the issue.
According to the media reports three managers of the insurance company together received 1.8 billion rials ($59,300 according to official rate on May 12) in the last month of the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20).
According to the data revealed by the insurance company, one of the mentioned managers for one month in 2009, received about 85 million rials ($2800 according to the official rate on May 12).
This is while, according to IranTalent (a leading job site for Iranian professionals) the maximum salary of an Iranian manager in 2015 was estimated to be around 113 million rials (about $3700). However the former deputy head of Iran Supreme Audit Court, Abbas Mohseni, said that the maximum level of the payments to managers should not surpass 55,000,000 rials (about $1800).
Now with the resignation of Mohammad Ebrahim Amin, a group of Iranian media outlets close to moderate President Hassan Rouhani, suggest that the stepping down of Mohammad Ebrahim Amin will inflict a major harm to the country, since he is skilled and honest.
Considering the outcome of the investigations and the media tone in Iran, it appears that political games in the Islamic Republic have claimed another victim, Mohammad Ebrahim Amin.
Farhad Daneshvar is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Farhad_Danesh
Insurance company falls victim to political games in Iran
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 12