Date: 26 Rabbi al-Thanni 1443   Wednesday 01 December 2021

  • Last Update: Wednesday 01 December 2021، 09:45:28.

Iran jails former top banker for 10 years for corruption

08:45 17 October 2021 Author :  

Iran's former top banker has been sentenced to 10 years in jail over disruption of the country's foreign market and economic mismanagement in a trial that lasted three years.

Valiollah Seif, who headed the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) between September 2013 and July 2018, was charged by a court in Tehran with "disturbing the order" in the forex market and paving the way for "illegal purchase and sale" of foreign currency.

His deputy at the time, Ahmad Aragchi, was sentenced to eight years on the same charges. Aragchi is the nephew of former deputy foreign minister and nuclear negotiator, Abbas Aragchi.

The two former bankers and their accomplices were indicted in the high-profile case in May 2018, soon after the withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal and reinstatement of sanctions on Iran.


Seif was subsequently sacked and replaced by veteran economist AbdolHemmat Nasser in July 2018. But, in a surprise move two months later, then-President Hassan Rouhani appointed him as his economic adviser.

The former top banker was accused by a prosecutor in Tehran of “wasting” more than $30 billion and 60 tonnes of gold reserves. He was also accused of failing to check the depreciation of the national currency rial and stem irregularities in the fragile banking sector.

One of the controversial decisions taken by him was setting an official rate of 42,000 rial to US dollar in April 2018. While the official rate remains unchanged, the free market rate keeps fluctuating, compounding the misery of traders and investors.

The names of Seif, Aragchi and others indicted in the case were made public only after Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in a letter to then judiciary chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani in August 2018 urged special measures against economic corruption and action against the culprits.

Iran's judiciary has in the last few years launched a full-scale campaign against economic corruption, with many officials of the former reformist administration facing the heat.

Iran has been reeling under the impact of US sanctions since May 2018 when the former US administration launched a 'maximum pressure' campaign against Tehran./aa

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