Economy, Business And Markets

Intelligence Chief Throws Full Weight Behind Free Enterprise

Finance Desk
Intelligence Chief Throws Full  Weight Behind Free Enterprise
Intelligence Chief Throws Full  Weight Behind Free Enterprise

The Intelligence minister says the security apparatus strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for investment for both domestic and foreign businesses.

"We believe that security and public transparency go hand in hand to boost a country's economic landscape and we will do everything in our power to make sure that this happens," Mahmoud Alavi-Tabar said.

Alavi who was addressing a board meeting of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on Tuesday, assured the business community that his ministry remains diligent in fighting corruption and leveling the playing field for private enterprise.

"We [in the government] want to make sure that nobody in the business community is unfairly treated. We will do our utmost to help achieve your full potential in competing in foreign markets," the powerful minister said.

Alavi, who also lent an ear to complaints and concerns of the private sector about the scope of corruption and red tape that has long hindered business activity, acknowledged the need for meaningful reforms to address the pressing issues. He, however, admitted that it is necessary to fight "cases of corruption" in the short-term.

"We need to combat venality and corruption but in a way that does not threaten the safety of commerce or makes investors feel insecure about their situation."

"We can neither sacrifice the tranquility of the business climate under the pretext of fighting corruption nor ignore transparency for the sake of a calm business climate since both are equally imporatnt."

The security chief referred to the high level security enjoyed by Iran both at the regional and international level, saying it is a unique achievement given "the meager funding for security" in Iran compared to many other countries.

He also made a passing reference to his ministry's success in foiling and preventing terror attacks inside the country.   


Alavi said the Rouhani administration is one of the most anti-corruption governments to ever take office in the country and asked the business community to inform the intelligence body about any threat to their lawful operations.

"The government indeed cares about fostering trade and investment," he said, adding that foreign investment has an important role in countries striving for the betterment and progress of their peoples.

He emphasized the need and necessity of transparency for the country and the economy.

 "We want to make sure that no tax evasion, no land grabbing and no smuggling damages the health of the economy," he said.

The minister strongly rejected rumors about snooping into people's personal bank accounts. He noted that, "We do not look into personal accounts unless there is real danger about money laundering, drug trafficking or organized crime."  

Masoud Khansari, head of the TCCIM asked the Intelligence Ministry to fight corruption diligently and eliminate rent-seeking that has taken a toll on the national economy and free enterprise for years .

Khansari voiced the private sector's concerns about the unwanted and unhelpful role of state-affiliated companies in the economy which has undermined prospects for free and fair competition among businesses.  

"We call on intelligence organizations to pay attention to social and economic issues as a hallmark of security and take note of the fact that many security issues stem from unemployment and addiction," he told the rare meeting.