In this footage, Iranian activists expose further massive corruption by Tehran mayor Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf, a prominent conservative politician and former military officer popular with the Iranian leadership, who’s fond of lambasting corruption, even while he’s a notorious and leading practitioner of it.
At the start of the short video compilation, Mayor Ghalibaf is seen delivering a speech at a ceremony in Tehran on March 15 this year, at which he unveiled a number of new train carriages for the capital’s rail network. In his speech, the senior official says: “ You have seen in various groups and organisations how corruption has been discovered, ranging from several hundred billion to several thousand billion [dollars]”, adding, “Would you please go ahead and tell me which incidents of corruption have been detected in the Tehran Mayor’s office since I’ve served in this post for 12 years? We don’t have even one case of corruption!”
The activists responsible for the video compilation rise to this challenge by listing just a few of the cases of massive corruption in which Mayor Ghalibaf has been involved.
By exposing the astronomical levels of nepotism within Ghalibaf’s recruitment policy, with personnel in the mayor’s office regularly appointed without even job interviews or any assessment of the candidates’ suitability.
A post from the Twitter account of Rahmatollah Hafezi, currently a member of Tehran’s City Council, reveals that 4,200 of the new employees appointed by the council under Ghalibaf’s leadership have been given jobs without any interview or any of the other usual steps in the recruitment process.
Although 5,000 more people are already being paid for working on the new Tehran metro line, it has not yet opened.
Three hundred of the recent appointments were discovered to be family members of regime officials, and senior military and religious figures.
Interestingly, 2,715 members of the new workforce have been appointed without authorization, with the annual salary costs of the Tehran Metro increasing to 120 million Tomans as a result.
All these appointments were made under the management of Ali Mohamadgholiha, the brother-in-law of Haj Mansour Arzi, one of the Quranic reciters favored by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and under the supervision of Ghalibaf.
Although Ghalibaf has constantly berated the government for its supposed lack of support for the Tehran Metro, the latest reports suggest that the government has been paying the spiraling costs for the still-unfinished project.
The chairman of the Tehran City Council’s budget committee said that the astronomical costs of the massive recruitment drive form only one part of the problems detailed in the audit report.
The controversy is set to continue…
“The more things change the more they stay the same”