August 20, 2019
Days after accusations of large-scale corruption in Iran’s car industry, the CEO of Iran Khodro was arrested in his office after being fired hours earlier.
Iran Khodro is one of the biggest vehicle manufacturers in Iran partnering with the French conglomerate PSA Peugeot Citroen. The reason for Monday’s actions of firing and then arresting Mr. Hashen Yekke Zare’e has not been announced. He has led the company for the past seven years and at the same time was chairman of Parsyan Bank’s board of directors.
This was the second case in recent days when managers of government entities are arrested right after they are fired from their jobs. The head of Iran’s Privatization Organization met the same fate on August 14. Reports say two other Iran Khodro managers have also been arrested in recent days.
Iran has been caught by a storm of corruption allegations against powerful people in August, some of whom have been detained. Others, such as the former head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani have been publicly discredited.
In addition to Iran Khodro, six managers of Saipa, another automaker are also in jail and its CEO is banned from leaving the country.
On August 18, the spokesman of a parliamentary commission asserted that “Widespread financial corruption has turned automakers in Iran into a powerful mafia”. He accused the government owned companies of mismanagement resulting in huge debts to government owned banks.
Five years ago, Iran’s parliament had issued a report saying that these car companies were run with heavy-handed government control and political interference. The report had assailed lack of financial discipline and transparency.