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Economic Corruption: Open Battle between Rouhani Government, IRGC | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani casts his vote in Tehran. REUTERS/President.ir

London-Iranian media reported on Thursday the arrest of Safdar Hosseini, head of National Development Fund of Iran, following the detention of Ali Sakhaei, the ex-managing director of Bank Mellat.

Hosseini, who resigned two weeks ago, was involved in the salary scandal; his resignation was finally approved by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Bank Mellat is the third bank in Iran with a capital that exceeds USD62 billion and with 1,900 branches in Iran and two outside it.

Following pressures exerted by the media on the government, Bank Mellat board of directors decided to dismiss Sakhaei but refused to sign the minutes. During past two days, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps agencies published documents in his possession and other details of his personal life as evidence over his involvement in the scandal.

IRGC intelligence stated that it arrested Sakhaei due to his extensive activity in an organized corrupt banking gang.

Reliable sources considered that publishing the documents targets Rouhani, months before announcing his candidacy for a second presidential term.

In the past days, rumors spread of possible role of Hossein Fereydoun, the brother and adviser to Rouhani, in appointing managing directors of huge Iranian banks. Even some parliamentarians accused Fereydoun of leading a big corruption network in the country.

The political crisis in Iran is deepening as the state institutions continue to throw accusations at each other. The Iranian people, in their turn, are suffering from the absence of transparency not to mention other economic and cultural problems.

Head of the IRGC Mohammad Ali Jaffari commented that IRGC interference in the economic corruption case was preceded by a series of warnings issued by Supreme leader Ali Khamenei in his latest speeches amid fears that the scandal would undermine the revolution.

Ali Jaffari added that the judicial authority is supporting the IRGC in its move.