Friday Prayers Across Iran: Tirade against the Pay Slip Scandal
(Ayatollah Movahhedi Kermani preparing to start the prayers. Source: Arash Mirsepasi/YJC)
This week, Friday prayers' leaders across the country slammed white-collar officials whose hefty payment scandal have infuriated the Iranian public.
The strongest attack took place in Tehran, where Ayatollah Movahhedi Kermani, the octogenarian Principlist cleric, called the accused, who include state-owned banking and insurance CEOs, "leeches" that are sucking blood from the body of the establishment.
"Such a pillage can lead to the fall of a regime" he said. "We have received reports that 950 officials have plundered [public wealth] with salaries between 15 to 50 million tomans", approximately 5000 to 16000 USD, a very generous salary in Iran's fiscal scale. "These are people who have stuck like leeches to the body of the establishment, sucking its blood and not allowing it to reach the oppressed and the deprived" he added.
"Were officials sleep when these plunders were taking place?" he asked.
In Sari, center of Mazandaran Province, Hojjatoleslam Yousefpour asked for the three powers to step in and eradicate the problem of quasi-legal astronomical salaries paid to governmental officials. "The problem is not related to any certain administration" he also reminded, amid a heavy barb trading between the government of Hassan Rouhani and his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to prove the other side has been more corrupt. In Khorramabad, western Iran, Friday prayers' leader thanked the government of Hassan Rouhani for starting its battle against "unconventional salaries". Seyyed Ahmad Miremadi hoped that this would be the first step to battle bureaucratic corruption.
The US-bashing ritual continued this week. In Tehran, Ayatollah Movahhedi Kermani called terrorism a product of the US, Britain and Zionists. "Basically, the root of war and instability in the region and the entire world are global powers, and first and foremost Israel" he said. "Through financing, arming and [with the help of] illegitimate oil revenues, they bring others to Syria and Iraq to foster calamity and fratricide" he said.
"In US' and its allies' record there is nothing but treachery, bloodshed, pillage and torture" said Friday prayers leader of Mashhad Mohammad-Bagher Farzaneh. "Should we go into the bosom of the United States if we want to progress? Those [who claim so] have no aim but debauchery, lechery and accumulating wealth" he stated.