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Former Tehran Mayor Accused Of Donating Billions Of Rials To His Wife's Charity


Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) and Tehran's former mayor Baqer Qalibaf in a session of the Expediency Council, on January 19, 2019.

Iranian media have disclosed details about a 2014 corruption case at the Tehran Municipality when conservative figure and former Revolutionary Guards general Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was Tehran's mayor.

The report, a summary of which has been published by Khabar Online website says the municipality had donated 600 billion rials in cash, as well as 80,000 square meters of land to a charity that belonged to the mayor's wife.

The cash alone amounted to $18.5 million at the dollar/rial rate prevailing at the time. The price of land is hard to determine, since the location of land parcels is not known. But in any large city, a square meter of land (11 sq feet) usually costs at least a few hundred dollars.

The report also gave away information about 47 secret bank accounts and financial transactions with the Iran's hardliner-dominated Judiciary and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

According to the report the Tehran City Council which oversees the municipality's performance had conditionally approved an audit report two weeks ago, however, there is no indication of any further follow-up or inspection.

Qalibaf (Ghalibaf) was Tehran's mayor between 2005 and 2017. During the 12 years, the Tehran Municipality was widely criticized for financial corruption by political figures including two of Qlibaf's successors.

In 2017, a new City Council and mayor elected on the reformist ticket, alleged billions of dollars of corruption during Qalibaf’s tenure. The Judiciary failed to follow up on the complaint.

Qalibaf, who ran for president a few times, is currently a member of the Expediency Council based on an advice by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has not publicly responded to the accusations.

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