June 2, 2008

Reports of $35 Billion Missing from Iran Oil Revenue

(Farsi)The Iranian Government is missing $35 billion in oil revenue from 2006-07, according to reports from Tehran’s Shahab News. That figure makes up nearly half of Iran’s total oil income for last year. The article reports the chief auditing office of the Iranian Majles revealed the missing funds, which were supposed to have been deposited in a government bank account. Though no questions have been answered as to where the money could have gone, many suspect large-scale corruption involving high-ranking politicians, possibly even President Ahmadinejad.

Reports of this significance should resonate with the Iranian people as yet another example of Ahmadinejad’s mishandling of Iran’s economy. Unfortunately, the Government of Iran has become especially adept at shifting the blame for Iran’s financial troubles away from its own mismanagement and instead pointing to US sanctions as the real cause of their woes. This represents another missed opportunity for the United States to engage with the Iranian people as vital partners in improving the behavior of the Iranian Government.

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