Ahmad Tavakoli, a prominent hardliner and a former member of the Iranian parliament, has urged for members of the public with information about corruption inside the Iranian regime to be “applauded.” “Transparency must be part of the duties of officials,” Tavakoli stated.
This Iranian hardliner spoke against those who “block access to information” about government affairs in order to hide wrongdoings and official corruption. “Unless it is about national security, then people should have access to government files,” Tavakoli argued. In making comparisons to international standards and rules around the world that regulate business interests and activities of government officials, Tavakoli stressed that in Iran lack of transparency is a key obstacle to public trust in the government.
The issues of nepotism and outright corruption are increasingly a significant part of the public debate in Iran as the country prepares for the May 2017 presidential elections. One of the key individuals targeted by the hardline camp on charges of abuse of office and corruption is Hossein Fereidun, the brother of the Iranian president. The remarks of Tavakoli, no matter how legitimate on the issue of the need for more transparency in government affairs, is nonetheless already dismissed as a political attack on the incumbent president. As the deputy speaker of the parliament, a Rouhani ally, put it “the mere mentioning of Fereidun, is politicking” and should be avoided.