In his latest command over Iran’s economic crisis, the Supreme Leader has approved the “urgent” punishment of “corruptors”.
Ayatollah Khamenei responded to a letter from the head of the judicary, Sadeq Larijani, seeking special measures for detentions. The Supreme Leader agreed, “Punishment of convicts of economic corruption must be carried on urgently and justly, and appropriate meticulousness must be given to the designation of sentences by courts.”
Larijani had invoked the regime’s rationale of “economic war by enemies” to ask for the emergency measures. They include establishment of special courts and the prohibition of any probation or commutation of sentences for “economic disruptors and corruptors”.
As Iran’s rial has plunged 60% v. the US dollar since January, repeatedly setting historic lows, Iranian authorities have detained scores of unofficial currency dealers.
The arrests have not checked the slide, but the latest drop of the rial — including 35% over 48 hours in late July — has prompted another crackdown. Those who have been seized include the Deputy Head of the Iranian Central Bank and another Government official.
Larijani is calling for the formation of some Revolutionary Courts in Tehran with three judges. Unlike most court cases in Iran, sessions may be public and broadcast by State TV. Convictions and sentences cannot be appealed or revoked, although those facing death sentences can ask within 10 days for reconsideration by the Supreme Court.
Government intervention last week brought a brief recovery in the value of the rial, but the currency’s 12% drop on Thursday — to 106,000:1 v. the dollar — indicates that the measures will fail to provide the stability needed for production, investment, and imports and exports.
The rial, which has been as low as 119,000:1, now stands at 103,500:1.