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US Bill Seeks Information on Corrupt Business Practices of Iran’s Leaders

US Bill Seeks Information on Corrupt Business Practices of Iran’s Leaders

Saturday, 24 July, 2021 - 05:45
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, shown at a 2009 clerical gathering. Reuters file photo

Two US Representatives have introduced a bill that aims to disclose how Iranian leaders funded their wealth in light of US and international sanctions imposed on the regime.


“The Ayatollahs, the Mullahs, and the Iranian military are all profiting at the expense of ordinary Iranian citizens and the Iranian people are rightfully calling for accountability,” according to Representatives French Hill and Al Lawson, who reintroduced the bipartisan “Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act.”


The bill requests the Department of the Treasury to brief Congress on how the funds of Iranian leaders have been acquired and used.


It would combine publicly available information with US intelligence that can be made public, to provide a valuable window into the corrupt business practices of Iran’s top kleptocrats and limit their financial holdings, which are used to support and sponsor terrorism.


The two legislators said that Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei controls a business empire valued at more than $95 billion, which helped him control Iran when his people suffer from a shortage of water, food and fuel.


“For the past four decades, the people of Iran have lived under the brutal dictatorship of the Ayatollahs in Tehran,” said Hill, adding that the legislation will provide transparency into the corruption and illicit behavior of the leaders of Iran.


Lawson said that Iran’s government has continually engaged in corrupt business practices and other deplorable actions.


“It is vital that we hold Iran’s leaders accountable, and this legislation will provide a new mechanism of oversight to do just that,” he said.


The text of the bill stipulates that the Biden administration present no later than 60 days after its approval, a report to Congress containing the estimated total funds held in financial institutions that are under direct or indirect control by the Iranian regime, in addition to a detailed explanation of the wealth of 20 Iranian officials, including the Supreme Leader and the President, in addition to the senior leadership of any terrorist group or regional proxy force supported by the Government of Iran, including Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Kata’ib Hezbollah.


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