- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2018

The State Department is using Sunday’s “International Anti-Corruption Day” as an opening to criticize what it says is rampant corruption in Iran and name and shame numerous government officials, including the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

“Today is #AntiCorruptionDay,” the State Department said on Twitter of Sunday’s U.N.-sponsored event. “Sadly, for the Iranian people, their government is full of corrupt hypocrites. Take Ayatollah Khamenei, who has a tax-free hedge fund worth billions.”

The State Department tweet accused Iran’s leader of seizing property from the country’s religious minorities and using the proceeds to fund Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

Despite a stagnant economy and popular protests over government corruption, Tehran has reportedly spent billions of dollars in recent years to support proxy forces and allies across the Middle East, including an estimated $700 million a year to support Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Shi’a Islamist movement.

Additional examples of Iranian regime officials the State Department named for allegedly profiting from the theft of public money included Gen. Sadegh Mahsouli and Grand Ayatollah Makaram Shirazi.

A former IRGC officer, Gen. Mahsouli served in the government of former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, becoming one of Iran’s wealthiest citizens along the way. He was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2010. Mr. Shirazi is known as “The Sultan of Sugar” for allegedly flooding local markets with expensive imported sugar.

“This #AntiCorruptionDay Iranians have much to despair about,” the State Department tweeted. “Their government is full of corrupt hypocrites.”

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