WPI Briefing: The Worker-communist Party of Iran has recently initiated a campaign against money laundering of the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran. What are the objectives of this campaign?
Koorosh Modaresi: The growing instability of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of popular discontent is a matter of fact. Nobody has any confidence in the near future of this regime. Even officials and leaders of the Islamic government are talking about the Damocles' Sword of popular uprising threatening the very existence of the Islamic order and the imminent collapse of the system. This situation has forced many of the leaders, officials, functionaries and cronies of the Islamic regime to look for a safe haven for the gigantic wealth they have accumulated during the last 20 years. There is growing evidence showing that these people are transferring their wealth to their personal accounts in European, Canadian and some Far and Middle East banks, especially in Switzerland, Germany, and the UK; some are investing in properties under "Islamic-financial" front foundations. Those laundering money include Khamenei (the Leader), Hashemi Rafsanjani, commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, officials of governmental agencies, leaders and functionaries of religious institutions as well as persons from the private sector connected to the system.
We have warned the concerned banks and governments that this is an illegal act of money laundering and should be stopped. This is illegal and immoral. This wealth belongs to the people of Iran. Leaders, officials, functionaries and cronies of the Islamic regime have acquired this vast amount of wealth through 20 years of embezzlement of large sums of money from public funds, including the state budget and oil revenues, official and religious extortion, fraud and racketeering.
With this campaign, we are bringing this fact to the European banks' and governments' attention that the future dimensions of this scandal would be comparable to the transfer of Jewish money to Swiss banks by the Nazi regime. Furthermore, these banks would be accountable to the people of Iran and the future government in Iran in the national and international courts of law for complicity in defrauding the Iranian people.
WPI Briefing: What specific actions you have in mind?
Koorosh Modaresi: Two lines of action: legal and political actions. On the legal side, we will officially inform the concerned banks and governments about this ongoing money-laundering scheme. Our public statement will be sent to them and we will ask them to immediately stop opening such accounts, close existing accounts of Iranian governmental and religious officials and proxies, freeze their funds and open the details of existing accounts to the public for legal scrutiny. We will reserve the right to use all legal means at our disposal to sue these institutions, put a stop to this practice, and expose all parties involved. Our solicitors will follow up on each case separately.
On the political side, we will put pressure on the banks involved by exposing the truth about their fraudulent, illegal and immoral involvements. We will organize demonstrations in front of these banks and Islamic-financial front organisations and attract as much media attention as we can to make sure that the public, including their customers, have the facts about their illegal and immoral involvements.
In both Iran and abroad, we will bring the ongoing gigantic fraud to the public's attention and increase pressure on Islamic government officials and proxies as well as on the banks and governments in Europe and North America to put a stop to this practice.
This campaign will continue until its goals are fulfilled.
WPI Briefing: Do you have enough concrete information on this money-laundering scheme?
Koorosh Modaresi: Yes, we have preliminary information on the transfer of large sums of money to some banks in Switzerland, Germany, the UK and the United Arab Emirates, as well as large investments in Canada by Iranian governmental and religious officials and their proxies. We need additional information on the current accounts and transactions as well as on new fraudulent financial activities. We are calling on the people in Iran or abroad who have access to this kind of information to contact us and provide us with this information.
Koorosh Modaresi is a member of the WPI's Executive Committee and Political Bureau. He is also the coordinator of this campaign.
WPI Briefing No. 5, March 21, 2001