A few hundred people in Iran have borrowed billions of dollars from the country’s financial institutions and refuse to meet their obligations toward the lending institutions.
Now, a current and a former member of the Iranian Parliament have taken the issue in their own hands and are trying to force the delinquent debtors to pay their bills.
The MP Mahmoud Sadeghi published some details of 20 bad loans on his Twitter account on Thursday, November 30, and threatened to reveal the identity of the debtors if they do not make arrangements with their lenders within 48 hours.
This means the deadline is on Saturday December 2.
Just 2 days before, Ahmad Tavakoli, a former Iranian MP had made a similar threat to another group of debtors.
Interestingly, Tavakoli us a well-known conservative politician and Sadeghi belongs to the reformist camp, which is the loyal opposition.
Delinquent loans are one of the major crises Iranian banks are facing in recent years. According to several officials most of these loans have been granted through private or political connections, ignoring due process.
Some of loans have been used for purposes other than those agreed with the lending institutions.
In 2012, then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, “60% of the “country’s financial resources are blocked by 300 people.”
Eshagh Jahangiri, the deputy of the current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced in 2014 that delinquent loans to Iranian banks exceed $20 billion. He also said that a list of ca. 600 of bad debtors was prepared by the government and handed over to the judiciary for prosecution.
However, the judiciary has so far failed to take any concrete steps, apparently because many borrowers have family ties to the ruling elite or some powerful clergymen.
The MP Mahmoud Sadeghi had implied this fact in a previous Tweet published on November 28, when he demanded that Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, one of the most influential clergyman in Iran should explain about the overdue debts of his son-in-law who is one of the major borrowers in the country.
The former MP Ahmad Tavakoli who runs an NGO named “Transparency and Justice”, has also said that the delinquent debtors of one of the financial institutions were “mostly the children of religious scholars, veteran judges, and political figures” and he would reveal their names if they do not take actions regarding the settlement of their debts.
Iran’s central bank had assigned a team to investigate the issue, but according to Tavakoli the members resigned under pressure. The former MP demanded explanations from the central bank in this regard