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Iran's Judiciary Stops Illegal Construction By Lawmakers On Public Land

Apartment building under construction in Tehran on land granted for religious purposes.
Apartment building under construction in Tehran on land granted for religious purposes.

A half-built residential tower owned by several members of Iran's parliament in a posh neighborhood of capital city, Tehran, will be demolished, the head of Tehran's Justice Department announced on Tuesday, September 3.

The 3,000-square-meter (approximately 32,000 square feet) land, where the residential tower is under construction, was granted to several legislators in 2006 to build a religious congregation hall.

However, the officials at the Islamic Republic's Ministry of Roads and Urban Development recently disclosed that the lawmakers changed the land-use permit later to construct a residential tower.

According to local news outlets, the land was granted to the legislators without any legal procedure.

Judiciary officials had announced a few months ago that building a residential tower on a piece of land granted for a religious purpose was against the law and a judge had issued an order to stop construction on the lot.

Nevertheless, state-run news websites, including Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported that despite the verdict, construction of the residential tower continued, as before.

Reports on land-grabs by top officials and lawmakers of the Islamic Republic have been rife in recent months.

A right-wing student group in Iran called on the country's new Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeesi (Raeisi) last March to indict his predecessor and another senior politician for being involved in a "land grab" case in the lavish Lavasan area north of Tehran.

The area in question, some 1,000,000 square meters (roughly 247 acres), is a gated community nicknamed Beverly Hills of Iran where 62 luxury residential complexes have been built on the slopes overlooking Lake Latian.

Furthermore, a well-connected seminarian, Seyyed Mehdi Sadrolsadati published posts on his Instagram account on August 12, 13, implicating the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, his wife and other close relatives with a series of corruption business deals, including numerous construction projects.

Shamkhani's son-in-law, Hassan Mir Mohammad Ali has also been accused of involvement in illegal constructions in Lavasan, near Tehran.