Fighting Corruption Essential to Resistance Economy

Fighting Corruption Essential to Resistance EconomyFighting Corruption Essential to Resistance Economy

Resistance Economy's establishment demands a serious fight to root out economic corruption and break up the organized smuggling structure that has sent domestic production to the brink of collapse, a former reformist lawmaker said.

In an interview with IRNA on Wednesday, Ali Shakourirad added, "As far as I'm concerned, Resistance Economy is a well-developed plan, but it should be entrusted to qualified people to ensure its proper implementation."

The former MP noted that the current government is capable of doing that, provided other political institutions demonstrate full, active cooperation.

"The policies of Resistance Economy cannot be considered and followed in isolation from other national policies. Other political, social and cultural approaches [of the establishment] need to be aligned with the principles of Resistance Economy."

Resistance Economy is a set of policies outlined by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to bolster economic self-reliance and limit dependence on oil revenues.

"Implementing an economic plan on such a large scale is not possible merely by issuing directives," Shakourirad said, denouncing those who stress the importance of creating such an economy but fail to recognize all the associated aspects.  

The ex-lawmaker underscored a strong fight against smuggling as an essential prerequisite for an effectively enforced Resistance Economy.

"Unfortunately the smuggling of contraband goods is being conducted in an organized manner by the people who seem to enjoy complete unofficial immunity from prosecution," he said.

Shakourirad lamented that the anti-smuggling campaign has proved to be ineffective so far.

"We are now witnessing that some people are smuggling without having to go through the customs clearance process and paying duties, so such goods reach Iranian consumers at a much cheaper price than their domestic equivalents."

  Lack of Real Will    

The former lawmaker expressed frustration at a lack of real will to combat smuggling, noting that measures adopted in this regard are not being implemented largely due to the cooperation of some corrupt government officials with smuggling rings.

"The fight against corruption is tied to a number of other necessary measures, and simply giving orders will not solve anything."

Shakourirad noted that the adoption of a strong, uncompromising will against the organized violation of import regulations could mark the first step in establishing Resistance Economy, because it has paralyzed domestic production, which is the foundation stone of Resistance Economy.

He pointed to the lack of an efficient system of supervision as the main cause of "widespread corruption" during the two-term office of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which was marked by numerous publicized legal cases against high-ranking officials charged with embezzling millions of dollars of national assets.

"The national inspection system turned a blind eye on the crimes committed by officials under the excuse of helping them bypass sanctions … Corruption became systemic in the past two governments."

An Iranian court sentenced an oil billionaire Babak Zanjani to death in March on financial charges, including over his involvement in massive fraud at the Oil Ministry and Social Security Organization, money laundering and forgery.

Shakourirad said he is opposed to the death sentence, as "Zanjani's execution will do little to help dismantle the system of which he was a part".

"Zanjani was part of a criminal system. If you punish only one member and let the whole corrupted system act with impunity, it will backfire and lead to further spread of corruption," he said.