Heavy floods hit vast regions of Golestan province, northern Iran. Locals providing help for each other when Iranian officials refuse to do so. (Supplied)

March 25, 2019

Iran’s Deputy Attorney General has announced that raising funds by celebrities to help victims of floods in Iran “is banned” and he warned that any bank account opened for this purpose will be closed.

Javid Javidnia told the Judiciary’s online news service March 24 that so far 60 accounts have been opened and some of them have already been closed.

He also told another news site that any crowd funding by individuals and organizations must be done through the Red Crescent Society or the official Aid Committee. It is not clear if ordinary donors would trust the official government agencies with their money.

Past instances of natural disasters in Iran have shown that the people prefer to contribute money via special accounts set up by celebrities, including soccer stars, wrestlers, actors and actresses, rather than paying to the state-run institutions.

Javidinia warned celebrities the accounts they have opened will be closed and the funds transferred to government agencies for helping flood victims. He referred to past instances when individuals raised funds for disasters and financial fraud took place.

Several sports celebrities have announced fundraising for people in Iran’s northern provinces and they have also traveled to flood areas to witness rescue and assistance efforts.

RFE/RL

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.