Tehran Municipality’s Budget Spent Over Promoting Regime’s Propaganda
The details of Tehran municipality’s 2018 budget show that at least $10 million of the municipality’s annual budget has been allocated to religious entities and Basij repressive paramilitary force.
Around four million 76 thousand dollars of the amount has been put aside for municipality’s Basij, an organization tasked with promoting the Revolutionary Guards objectives.
Among other activities, the municipality’s Basij Organization is widely involved in cultural and social areas across the city of Tehran.
“The municipality helped each religious congregation between $60 and $80, amounting to $140,000 in total. Soon the amount was reported by state media to have been increased to $1,600,000. Today, the figure reaches $11 million. And it’s not distributed among all 6000 registered religious congregations, but only 45 selected ones”, reports state-run Sarpoush website on January 31, 2018.
The municipality’s squandering budget on such entities is while the lack of urban services is ravaging Tehran’s poor and regional areas, with many people living in Tehran’s poor and regional areas being deprived of the least sanitation services while the workers have to make the ends meet with their minimum wage of only $200 a month.
Besides, municipality contractors employ children to collect and sort trash for $60 a month. Living in too deplorable situation, most of such children suffer internal, infectious and contagious diseases.
“Tehran municipality has provided contract cards to the children, according to which part of the children’s income goes to the contractors”, says regime’s MP Tayebeh Siavoshi in this regard. (Regime parliament’s so-called Khane-Mellat news agency, May 7, 2018)
Earlier, journalist Yashar Soltani reported in January that Tehran municipality under Mohammadali Najafi had given nearly $400,000 to a famous eulogy singer’s congregation as financial support. Besides, the municipality under Mohammadbagher Ghalibaf had also paid hundred thousands of dollars in financial support to Hussainyas and mosques, Soltani said.
Abdolhossein Mokhtabad, member of Tehran’s fourth City Council, had earlier said that Tehran municipality gives $2 million to religious congregations as annual coupon payments alone.
Also in this regard, Ghasem Mirzaee, regime’s MP from Tehran, had said on February 9 that “saunas and hot tubs costing $6 million were built in Imamzadeh Saber located in Tehran’s Vanak district, out of Tehran municipality’s budget.”
Funding religious congregations through the 2018 budget has become controversial over the past few months and has raised lots of criticisms.