Revelations of exorbitant salaries paid to senior officials sparks widespread anger in Iran, threatening to undermine public support for President Hassan Rouhani as he prepares to run for re-election next year.
Rouhani’s government has launched an investigation into public pay following the reports of executives at the state insurance regulator earning more than 50 times the base government salary.
The president’s opponents are demanding answers on behalf of struggling Iranians who have yet to see the promised economic benefits of the country’s nuclear deal with world powers.
The Iranian parliament’s conservative speaker, Ali Larijani, hammered the message home in the legislature on Tuesday, announcing the Supreme Audit Court would release a report on the issue next week.
“These excessive salaries have caused anxiety in society,” Larijani says, responding to a claim from another conservative MP that a senior health ministry official was earning 2 billion rials ($58,000) a month, far above the base public sector salary of about $400 a month.
The revelations surfaced two months ago, when the salaries of several senior executives at the Central Insurance of Iran (CII), the state insurance regulator, were revealed on social media.
In some cases the salaries ranged between 700 million and 800 million rials ($20,000 to $23,000) per month.