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Son Of Former Army Chief In Iran Sentenced To Ten Years For Corruption

Ammar Salehi, (first from R), with his co-defendants during his corruption trial. Undated.

A Revolutionary Court in Tehran has sentenced the son of former Chief Commander of the Iranian Army to ten years in jail for corruption, the Islamic Republic Judiciary spokesman announced at his weekly news conference on Tuesday, March 17.

Ammar Salehi, the only son of the former army commander, Major General Ataollah Salehi (2005-17), has also been banned for life from serving in the public sector.

Salehi was charged with receiving a more than $26 million "illegal loan" from Bank Sarmayeh (Capital) and “disrupting the economic order."

Sarmayeh Bank is deeply mired in corruption investigations. The main issue is Iran Teachers' Reserve Fund investments in the bank and the disappearance of nearly $3.5 billion of the fund's money. Retired teachers depend on income from their investment and have frequently been protesting in the past few years for their unpaid and inadequate pensions.

The primary suspect in Bank Sarmayeh's financial corruption case is a shady character, Mohammad-Reza Jahanbani, owner of tens of conglomerates and "front companies" active in brokering and importing essential products to Iran.

Jahanbani who was arrested in October 2016, is also charged with helping several people, including Ammar Salehi, to receive millions of dollars of illegal loans from Bank Sarmayeh.

The prosecutor at the court said that Ammar Salehi also used Bank Sarmayeh facilities to buy luxurious property in a posh neighborhood in Tehran, as well as a $154,375 Mercedes Benz.

The court was also told that Ammar Salehi still owes nearly nine million dollars to Jahanbani.

According to the Judiciary's spokesman, the court has sentenced Jahanbani to twenty years in jail, 74 lashes at a public place, permanently deprived of serving in in public office and returning more than one billion dollars to Bank Sarmayeh.

Several trials concerning the bank have been held so far. In 2019, the bank's former chairman, Parviz Kazemi, labor minister from 2005 to 2006 in hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet, was sentenced to twenty years, and 24 lashes.

Sarmayeh Bank managers Ali Bakhshayesh, and Mohammad Reza Tavassoli have also been convicted.