As last year began to come to an end, Iran’s Interior Minister, Rahmani Fazli mentioned in a meeting with the DEA police that as strong as the cash flow of smugglers in the country is, they become so powerful that they would be able to manipulate politics, “We should note that there is no doubt that once dirty money comes from drug smuggling, it can easily penetrate a country’s politics, elections and power balance, and to stay clear of what is called ‘corruption’, ultimate efforts should be made to pre-emptively break the entrance of such material into the foresaid areas.”
The comments later provoked wide ranges of reactions and that is how the Iranian politician and President Rouhani’s senior adviser, Akbar Torkan called the New Year the year of disclosure. He also stressed the importance of battling dirty money and ruled out silence before such a misconduct.
As revealing facts about the dirty money which could run into the veins of the upcoming parliamentary election soared, Rouhani’s Minister of Justice, Mostafa Pourmohammadi in an interview with the IRIB Channel 2 underlined that there is a greater danger of the eruption of dirty moneys as the focal points of power and wealth are coming close together. And just as expected, as the words were out, colorful reactions started to pour out from every corner.
Those critical of the government asked for a public offering of the documents which could prove what the Interior Minister claimed, and as the pressures increased, whichever media covering the Minister’s speech became targets for polemics and were called “Chain Media Corrupted by Dirty Money.”
The intensified pressures eventually brought the Interior Minister to the Parliament on April 26, 2015 to report what he has up his sleeve. But the Minister acted in contrast and apologized to the MPs for the issue of dirty money and insisted that his words in this regard have been distorted. However, he released a series of statistics about some economic corruptions, including the illegal import of 27 thousand cars in the name of helping the poor; a claim which was later rejected by the head of the aforementioned, Parviz Fattah. Fattah used to be Ahmadinejad’s Minister of Energy. He sarcastically addressed the Minister’s apology stating, “The Minister has habitually apologized for his words which dated back to 2 months ago. Is he going to apologize to me, too, in the Parliament?”
The Minister’s words and his retreat of and from the topic of dirty money have caused different political parties to go critical of him. The Conservatives accuse the government of propagandistic uses of the politics and the Reformists call it a non-strategic back-out of stances before the Conservatives. They, however, do not think of the Minister’s reaction as unexpected, for he shares the same political offshoot as Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament. All in all, given the upcoming parliamentary election and expected intense electoral races, we should await torrents of surprising and startling comments to rise up to the surface.