In a live Instagram video show, Iran's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) minister has responded to accusations of nepotism and influencing government contracts.
The youngest member of President Hassan Rouhani's cabinet, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, insisted that behind recent accusations of nepotism against him are some telecommunication providers who engage in fraudulent activities that he had been fighting to contain.
"Since I have decided not to step back, I expect more charges," Azari Jahromi said, adding sarcastically, "They might soon accuse me of murdering Bruce Lee."
Azari Jahromi decided to hold a live Instagram video show immediately after a pro-reform member of Majles (parliament) disclosed that one of the sisters of the minister's wife, 33-year-old Ms. Sana Assadian, had a monthly salary amounting to 690 million rials (approximately $16,500 based on official rate of exchange).
Several social media users dismissed the live video response as loaded with propaganda but devoid of content. Some others insisted that Azari Jahromi failed to defend himself against the allegations.
"His comments were merely a show-off, and even election-motivated" they argued.
Deputies representing the cities of Abyek, Alborz, and Qazvin in parliament, Ms. Hamideh Zarabadi had explicitly called the ITC minister to explain the role Ms. Assadian played in inking heavily lucrative insurance contracts with the third mobile phone network operator in the Islamic Republic, RighTel.
Furthermore, the lawmaker insisted that Azari Jahromi had so far left her questions unanswered since he has no response to offer.
In a barrage of tweets, Azari Jahromi had invited Hamideh Zarabadi to join him in the live Instagram video show, but it was ignored.
The spokesperson for Women’s Fraction in the Iranian parliament, Zarabadi, has not yet responded to Azari Jahoromi's comments on his live Instagram video show.