Mehdi Falahati, the anchor of the VOA Persian channel and presenter of the popular weekly program ‘The Last Page’
A prominent Iranian exile media figure has condemned the regime’s claims to be spending almost $2 billion per month on each mosque it funds across Tehran capital, asking where this money is going during a period of unprecedented economic collapse.
Talking about the latest regime spending figures, Mehdi Falahati, the anchor of the VOA Persian channel and presenter of the popular weekly program ‘The Last Page’, which focuses largely on regime corruption and human rights violations, said, “Despite all the economic problems which the people of Iran are facing, such as high prices, 400 billion Tomans has been spent on mosques within a year; this has not been spent on construction, however, but on equipment. What does this mean? It means spending on a couple of loudspeakers [used to amplify sermons and broadcast the prayer call], as well as on printing banners and flags [used by Twelver Shia in their rituals], plus employing a number of clerics and invited Maddahis [eulogists]. Spending four hundred billion Tomans on the 2,000 mosques in Tehran, their annual spending means the average cost of each of these mosques is around twenty billion Tomans per year. Each of these mosques has received almost $2 billion per month. How, and on what are they spending all this money? This amount of money could treat many of the country’s wounds [could resolve the people’s problems].”