Nepotism in the Iranian political system – OpEd – Eurasia Review


By Hossein Beizayi

In today’s competitive world where expertise, innovations, breakthroughs and efficiency are commodities in which the majority of the countries of the world invest heavily, in order to gain the upper hand and, sometimes, to Offering incentives beyond and beyond to clinch the world’s top brains on their lands, Iranian authorities are rushing to hire loved ones in lucrative government positions, regardless of their knowledge, expertise and cost. In fact, nepotism in Iran is not a new phenomenon and has been a common practice since the beginning of the reign of the Islamic Republic. In the Iranian political fabric and formation, family members of the ruling elites still play an important role and are seen above and beyond.

Nepotism is rampant among Iranian presidents. The former Iranian president, the late Hashemi Rafsanjani, has appointed his brother, Mohammad Hashemi, as his vice president for executive affairs. Likewise, Mohammad Khatami appointed his brother, Ali Khatami, as his chief of staff. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has appointed his brother, Davoud Ahmadinejad, as head of the president’s inspection office.

The same trend can be observed among middle-ranking civil servants at the provincial level in the country. As an example, the governor of Sistan and Balochistan province in southeastern Iran has appointed his nephew governor of Zahedan, the provincial capital.

After Mohammad Khatami’s victory in 1997, his brother Mohammad Reza Khatami, who was an unknown, garnered the most votes in Tehran in the 2000 parliamentary elections and eventually became deputy speaker of parliament.

Just a few months ago, Iran’s legislative and judicial powers were ruled by two brothers, Ali Larijani and Sadeq Larijani. Their third brother, Javad Larijani, is the head of the Iranian Human Rights Council. Their fourth brother, Bagher Larijani, was the Deputy Minister of Health.

On July 15, 2017, Iranian judicial authorities arrested Hassan Fereidoun, the brother of the former Iranian president, also his special adviser. He was facing allegations of financial irregularities. He was later reportedly sent to a hospital due to a health problem, from which he was reportedly released. The entire episode only lasted 24 hours.

It is difficult to find a senior official in the Islamic Republic whose immediate family members do not occupy the highest positions.

Most recently, the mayor of Tehran, Alireza Zakani, appointed his son-in-law Hossein Heidari as his special advisor with the aim of making urban management smart. When protests escalated in the press and state television and caught everyone’s attention with a mixture of jokes and sarcasm, Mayor Alireza Zakani said his son-in-law, Hossein Haidari, was supposed to work for free. . Due to public anger and criticism, Zakani was forced to lay off his own staff.

In an interview with the state-run ILNA news agency, Zahra Nejad Bahram, a so-called “moderate” activist, said: “The appointment of bride and groom and bridesmaids does not look good for the government. The president should intervene in certain appointments. We must not degrade the country ”. She adds: “The project of Minister of Education which was presented to parliament only had the management of a school in its portfolio!”

The above is just the tip of the iceberg of the colossal scale of corruption in family government institutions. The point is that cases of corruption and plundering of the resources of the Iranian people, as well as nepotism and camaraderie in government positions, are common. They are not limited to one administration and have become the common denominator of all administrations.

Corruption and nepotism are completely institutionalized as far as the regime is concerned. These factors, along with the inhumane repression of the Iranian people, are what bind the regime’s officials and leaders in their desperate attempt to seize and retain power in an already fragile regime.

As the Iranian economy crumbles and more people fall below the poverty line, instead of finding solutions to rectify the problems, the Iranian regime is too busy with internal disputes to know who owns it. most of the power.

Senior officials strive to ensure that key government positions are filled by people they know and trust to move forward with the same ideologies. As a result, family members and close friends are often preferred over people who have genuine qualifications for the roles.

In summary, one should not wonder why more than 80% of Iranian population live below the poverty line declared by the government, why the inflation rate is approaching 50%, why the unemployment rate is so high, why people’s well-being and well-being plummets with days and weeks and many more why. In such a bizarre situation, expecting something else can be seen as irrational.


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