Taking Huge Loans, Importing Commodities, Selling Them, But Not Returning Loans
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that fewer than 300 people have 60 percent of the nation’s cash. Ahmadinejad said that these people have taken huge loans from state-owned banks over the years to import basic commodities but have not repaid their loans even though they have sold the commodities in the market and have pocketed the cash.
Ahmadinejad made the comments in Mashhad during a ceremony to startup development project in Khorasan province. His remarks were the most candid description yet by a senior government official of the rampant corruption in the country and how a small band of “businessmen” and current and former officials, with strong ties to state-run financial institutions, could accumulate so much wealth in so little time.
“300 people in the country have pocketed 60 percent of the nation’s cash and are not returning the monies (they owe)… Under different pretexts, they have taken out loans to import (commodities), but they have not repaid the loans, even though they have sold the commodities and have pocketed the monies,” Ahmadinejad said. (ISNA, 14 December)
To read the text of Ahmadinejad’s speech in Farsi, please click here.
Photo credit: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ISNA/Hamed Forootan)