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Proposed Transparency Plan In Leader’s Office Not Welcomed, Anti-Corruption Activist Says

Iran -- Ahmad Tavakoli, Member of 9th parliament, undated.

Anti-corruption activist and former conservative lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli says two years ago after consultation with the Supreme Leader he proposed a plan for transparency in Khamenei's office but his plan was not welcomed.

In an interview published by reformist Etemad newspaper on Sunday Tavakoli has said that the reason for proposing the plan was "people's expectations" and "more sensitivity" about the entities under the supervision of the Supreme Leader's Office. However, he has not disclosed which official of the said Office opposed the plan.

Tavakoli has claimed that Khamenei himself welcomes transparency "but his staff – for any reason – do not welcome it". He has also claimed that after the plan was turned down he has not had the opportunity to discuss it with Khamenei again.

The Office of the Supreme Leader consists of at least eight departments, seven special bureaus and a number of media and publication institutions that publish his writings and manage his social media accounts and websites in different languages.

Since Khamenei was elected by the Assembly of Experts as Supreme Leader in 1989 following the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has never published any reports on its organizational chart, functions and manner of supervision of massive economic entities under the direct supervision of the Leader.

The entities under Khamenei's supervision such as the Mostazafan Foundation (Foundation for the Deprived), Astan-e Qods-e Razavi which administrates and manages the Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad and its huge assets and the Housing Foundation control a huge portion of the Iranian economy. Some critics claim the assets and funds under the control of these organizations make up around 60 percent of the Iranian economy.

Tavakoli who is the founder of Transparency and Justice Watch has emphasized that there is corruption in some of these entities including the Mostazafan foundation.

The Mostazafan foundation has a turnover of 360,000 billion rials, Tavakoli who is also an economist and a member of the Expediency Council has said and maintained that if the Office of the Surpreme Leader makes its own activities transparent "entities such as the Mostazafan Foundation can no longer refuse to be transparent".

Referring to people's huge distrust of the authorities of the Islamic Republic Tavakoli has said: "We are like the guy crying wolf [who nobody believes] and must accept that people's trust to us authorities has hugely declined in comparison with the past".