Iran President Hassan Rouhani. (Getty)

November 11, 2019

Shouts against Iranian government policies on Sunday interrupted several times a speech by President Hassan Rouhani in Yazd.

The president accused his critics of repeating “American demands” and called on the judiciary to confront corruption cases with “transparency”, less than a month after his brother Hossein Fereydoun was jailed to serve a five-year sentence.

Rouhani, once again talked about internal differences, and blamed the judiciary for lack of transparency and clarification on corruption cases involving billions of dollars.

He pointed out at the same time that some agencies owed the government more than $700 million without mentioning their names.

Authorities have launched a campaign against Iranians accused of exploiting the shortage of gold and currencies, with a number of people been taken to trial and executed.

Rouhani implicitly underestimated the measures taken by the judiciary, which has accelerated the fight against corruption since Ibrahim Raisi – the president’s opponent in the elections – became chief of the judicial body.

The Iranian president defended his government’s anti-corruption record, noting that it had prepared three anti-corruption lists.

Addressing officials in the judiciary, he said: “Prosecutors and honorable judges do not fear and do not mind this party or that; they must face the files of corruption with transparency.”

Rouhani also attacked newspapers that criticize his government’s policies in managing the dollar crisis and accuse him of squandering $18 billion.

He vowed “not to waste a dollar” in his government, pointing out that he has asked the head of the Iranian central bank to “clarify all expenses and currency spending.”

Few hours after the president’s speech, the Judiciary spokesman, Gholam Hossein Ismaili, expressed surprise at Rouhani’s remarks and stressed that the judicial body was determined to fight corruption.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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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.