Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 60 percent of his country’s wealth is controlled by just 300 people in Iran.

The Fars News Agency reported on Friday December 14 that Ahmadinejad was speaking at a ceremony for the launch of development projects in Khorazan Razavi Province when he said: “Three hundred people have taken over 60 percent of the country’s money and refuse to return it.”

He stressed: “The main problem is deferred bank payments: that means some people have borrowed money and refuse to return it.”

The president added: “Unfortunately, some people are only concerned for themselves and support the individuals… and some even pass legislation that restricts any kind of attempt to get these monies back.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first came to power on an anti-corruption platform and on many occasions he has said he would reveal the names of those responsible for economic corruption but he has never done so.

Last year, Ahmadinejad told a press conference that he had given to the judiciary the names of nearly 250 people involved in serious corruption schemes, but the judiciary failed to respond.

Ahmadinejad’s statement comes as his critics cite the government’s mishandling of the economy as the cause of rising inflation and the rapid devaluation of the national currency.