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Iranian Parliamentarians To Receive Luxury Cars And Interest Free Loans

Iran -- Former IRGC commander and the new Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf in the opening ceremony of new parliamentary term on May 28, 2020.
Iran -- Former IRGC commander and the new Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf in the opening ceremony of new parliamentary term on May 28, 2020.

A member of the Iranian Majlis Parliament, Hossein Ali Haji Deligani, has confirmed that Iranian legislators receive "Dena Plus" luxury sedans.

Deligani said a more appropriate move would be MPs receiving a "more conventional car," while leaving its ownership to the parliament.

Speaking to the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) on Monday, the ultraconservative legislator said that the reason behind the MPs receiving a car was the "Civil Service Management Law", which "considers the position of Majlis representatives equal to the position of the cabinet Ministers."

Meanwhile, Haji Deligani, who is also a member of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), protested that "ministers' privileges are more than what they need, and Majlis should also find a way to grant the lawmakers similar benefits."

Tehran's representative to the parliament, Rouhollah Izadkhah, previously announced on his Instagram account that each member of Majlis had received a three billion rials (approximately $72,000) automatic Dena Plus sedan, paying for it in monthly installments for three years, and the car deed would be registered as their within a year.

Based on the figure, the Friday Prayer Imam of Lavasan, Saeed Lavasani, has calculated that the representatives must pay "eighty-three million rials per month" (roughly $2,000) for the car's installment.

Joining voices with social media users in protest, Lavassani inquired, "How much are the MPs paid that they can afford such installments for their cars?"

News broke earlier that MPs had received two trillion rials for housing and 200 million rials for "other expenses."

The representative of Rafsanjan and Anar to the parliament, Hossein Jalali, had said in July 2020, that in the first month of his presence in the parliament, 2,310,000,000 rials (about $55,000) were deposited in his account, of which 110 million rials (roughly $2,600) are related to representation salary, two trillion rials (approximately $47,500) for housing benefit, and 200 million rials (about $4750) for "other expenses."

The monthly salary of the members of Majlis in 2017 was announced at sixty million rials (about $1400), which has increased by fifty million (roughly $1200) to 110 million rials (approximately $2600) during the past three years.

A former Iranian lawmaker previously disclosed that some legislators in the current parliament "exert pressure" to use government-owned cars and properties for free while receiving money for these expenses through their supplemental pay.

Speaking to the state-run Young Journalist Club (YJC) news website on August 26, Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani said that "such expenses are fully paid to the MPs through their supplemental paychecks."

The supplemental pay covers MPs' publicity expenses, leasing a car, buying gasoline, running an office, paying the staff, water and electricity bills, and procuring stationery, Jamali Nobandegani disclosed.

In addition to receiving free cars from the local government in their constituencies, some legislators have "even exerted pressure on government departments and universities," and occupied state-owned properties to avoid paying rent, he said.

Nobandegani added that it is impossible to investigate the issue since the properties belong to the government. Still, using facilities owned by the executive branch for non-executive purposes is against the law, he said.

Furthermore, a former lawmaker and member of the Legal and Judicial Committee, Mohammad Dehqan, told the Fararu website that lawmakers could also apply for no-interest loans of 1.5 billion rials (about $36,000).