Public Money

MEK Iran: Iran Regime Plunders Public Money

Public Money

Iran under many corrupt governments.

Earlier this month, Nabzebourse – a website run by the Iranian state, predicted that the shares of Shasta, the Social Security Investment Company – would be listed on the Tehran Stock exchange two days later. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, has described this as the “largest initial public offering in the history of the Tehran Stock Exchange”.

The Social Security Investment Company is a holding company made up of 8 groups that oversee 187 companies. They operate in the electricity and energy, oil, gas, and petrochemicals, cement and ceramic tiles, and medicine sectors. The Investment Company also operates in other sectors related to land and sea transport, food, agriculture and banking, and insurance, as well as in several other manufacturing, industrial, and service units.

The board of directors and CEO of Shasta are appointed by the Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, but the organization is owned by workers and retirees – meaning that the real owners have no real say in operations. Despite being public property, it is effectively managed by the government.

It had been announced that the organization had a deficit of approximately 25,000 billion tomans and a slightly higher amount in bank debt. However, it must be noted that the Iranian government owes it more than a quarter of a million tomans. Instead of paying its debt, the government is selling its shares.

Should the government decide to hand the organization over, the owners – the workers and retirees – should be handed the shares free of charge.

Workers’ shares are thus being handed over to corrupt individuals linked to the Iranian regime, while those that effectively own the organization are being left to continue living with very few means, or worse, in poverty.

This kind of activity is nothing new. It has been happening for many years in Iran under many corrupt governments. Processes like these leave people unemployed and after privatization, many workers have not been paid their salaries.

The NCRI gives the example of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane factory in the province of Khuzestan – a successful and productive factory that went bankrupt after shares were transferred.

The government, unsurprisingly, is trying to convince the people of Iran that privatization is a good idea. Yet when we look at events in the past, we see that the government has only ever handed a minuscule amount of profits over. And in very few cases.

The so-called individuals that the government sells shares to are nothing more than regime officials, or individuals close to the government. The “privatization” process is a plundering of public funds and a major deception to the people.  The government is the only one to benefit.

This is just one facet of the regime’s widespread corruption that has affected the people of Iran for decades. The wealth of the people has been plundered for far too long and the people know that this will never change. This is just one of the reasons why the people of Iran are desperate to see the regime collapse.

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