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house Bill H.R. 1441

Should the U.S. Intelligence Community Provide Congress a Report on Iranian Corruption?

Argument in favor

Endemic corruption in Iran enriches the ruling class while keeping ordinary Iranians impoverished. It also provides the Iranian state funds to support region-destabilizing terrorism across the Middle East. A better understanding of Iranian corruption is needed to combat it.

Mikael's Opinion
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05/26/2019
Shouldn’t our intelligence community provide reports on all potential threats to national security to congress!!??
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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05/26/2019
It’s their responsibility and duty of doing so & informing Congress. Endemic corruption in Iran enriches the ruling class while keeping ordinary Iranians impoverished. It also provides the Iranian state funds to support region-destabilizing terrorism across the Middle East. A better understanding of Iranian corruption is needed to combat it.
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Cherie65's Opinion
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05/26/2019
Of course they should. But, the President is right...until the democrats get over their Trump Derangement Syndrome, they won't listen anyway. For them, it's safety and security be damned.
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Argument opposed

Serious Iran scholars already know where the sources of corruption in the country are. A further report on this issue isn’t needed to give Congress the information it needs to understand the sources and causes of corruption in the country.

DrCindyBean's Opinion
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05/26/2019
Let’s have details of trump’s regime corruption. trump is a traitor and a corrupt criminal money laundering mobster.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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05/26/2019
No... I believe that Congress is the only body that can declare war. It would behoove us then to give to Congress any and all intelligence reports that the Orange Commander in Chief himself receives, thereby saving additional time and money.. What we don’t need are some sanitized versions of something passing for Fox News intelligence handed to Congress which has been passed through DJT.
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Jason's Opinion
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05/26/2019
Before we go galavanting to war we should better understand the corruption of the Republican Party. Especially that of their leader, Donald J. Trump.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 28th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1441?

This bill — the Stop Corrupt Iranian Oligarchs and Entities Act — would direct the Treasury Secretary, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Secretary of State, to submit a report to the appropriate Congressional committees on Iranian oligarchs and entities that are profiting off the Iranian people. This report would be due within 180 days of this bill’s passage, and it would be required to be submitted in an unclassified form (but it may contain a classified annex).

This report’s contents would be required to include details on:

  • An identification of the most significant senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in Iran, as determined by their closeness to the Iranian government, and assessments of: 1) their net worths, 2) relationships to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani or other members of the Iranian ruling elite, 3) an identification of any indices of these individuals’ corruption, 4) these individuals’ known sources of income, as well as the known sources of income of their family members (including spouses, children, parents, and siblings), and 5) an identification of these individuals’ non-Iranian business affiliations.
  • An identification of Iranian parastatal entities, including assessments on: 1) their emergence and their roles in the Iranian economy, 2) their leadership structures and beneficial ownership, and 3) such entities’ non-Iranian business affiliations.
  • Information on key U.S. economic sectors’ (e.g., banking, securities, insurance, and real estate) exposure to Iranian politically affiliated persons, Iranian parastatal entities, and Iranian state-owned enterprises.
  • Information on the likely effects of imposing debt and equity restrictions on Iranian parastatal entities, as well as the anticipated effects of adding these entities to the list of Specially Designated Nationals maintained by the Treasury Dept.’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
  • Information on the potential impacts of imposing sanctions of debt and equity restrictions in addition to any existing sanctions or restrictions on Iranian oligarchs, Iranian parastatal entities, or Iranian state-owned enterprises, including impacts on the oligarchs, entities, and enterprises and on the Iranian economy, as well as those of the U.S. and its allies.

“Iranian parastatal entities” are defined as entities that are at least 25 percent owned by the Iranian state, and which had 2016 revenues of approximately $2 billion or more.

Impact

Treasury Secretary; Director of National Intelligence (DNI); Secretary of State; corruption in Iran; Iranian oligarchs; and Iranian parastatal entities.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1441

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. David Kustoff (R-TN) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to direct the Treasury Dept., in consultation with the State Dept. and Director of National Intelligence (DNI), to identify and compile a list of Iranian oligarchs and entities that are profiting off the Iranian people:

“Over the past forty years since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, we have seen Iran become a leading state sponsor of terrorism, build up its nuclear weapons capability, and endanger countries in the Middle East, including Israel, with acts of terrorism. Due to years of mismanagement by the government, Iran is economically crumbling. While the regime refuses to address corruption within their own spheres, the Iranian middle class struggles every day to pay their bills and even feed their family. It is unacceptable that the leaders in Iran have continued to accumulate hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth from their positions as their people suffer. It is essential we stand up to and place maximum pressure on Iran and its leaders to help expose the corrupt nature of this dangerous regime.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), an original cosponsor of this bill, adds:

“In recent years, Iran has capitalized on sanctions relief, bankrolling terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas and military adventurism across the region, while enriching corrupt, regime-connected officials back at home. I am glad to join Rep. Kustoff, my colleague on the House Financial Services Committee, to introduce this bipartisan legislation which will create a public report shedding light on the Khamenei regime’s corruption, distortion, and mismanagement of Iran’s economy.”

Last year, the Arab Center Washington DC noted that it’s unclear whether the information this bill requires would be useful:

“It is not a lack of support that would hinder the bill, but there are questions about the usefulness of such reporting requirements when most serious Iran scholars already recognize who the true economic powers are in Iran and how corrupt actors like the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) actually stand to profit more when the United States sanctions the Iranian economy because they control so much of the black market.”

This bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, it didn’t have any cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteIran’s corruption is among the worst in the world. In Transparency International’s 2018 annual corruption report, the country ranked 138th among 180 countries surveyed (a drop of eight places, from 130th in 2017). GAN Integrity’s Business Anti-Corruption Portal notes, “A powerful system of political patronage, nepotism and cronyism pervade all sectors of the economy. Irregular payments and bribes are often exchanged to obtain services, permits or public contracts.

A 2007 estimate of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) smuggling operations offered by an Iranian member of parliament suggested annual revenues of $12 billion. The parliamentarian described a sophisticated, large smuggling business of “such a magnitude that it can not be done by donkeys or by passengers…This volume is entering the country through containers and via illegal and unofficial channels [such as] ‘invisible jetties’ supervised by strongmen and men of wealth.

In September 2018, Ali Alfoneh, a visiting scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C. observed that Iranian oligarchs “bask in wealth” while ordinary Iranians suffer:

“While many Iranians suffer because the rial is in free fall and cut expenses drastically but still can’t make ends meet, they see the oligarchs of the Islamic Republic live life large. The oligarchs flaunt their fabulous wealth on the internet, use family connections to promote their careers and to further enrich themselves from public funds. For the Iranian public, this is a sad reminder of the ‘thousand families’ (Hezar Famil), or the oligarchy, which allegedly ruled Iran prior to the revolution. It is also a reminder of the revolutionary regime’s promise to replace the oligarchic system with equality and meritocracy. It appears the oligarchy remains intact, with the ‘thousand families’ of the Pahlavi era giving way to another “thousand families” in control of the country’s wealth. Worse, the newly rich Iranians have set aside any pretence of modesty and display their wealth with unprecedented vulgarity… Iranians are watching the luxurious lifestyle of the sons and daughters of the revolutionary regime in bitter silence but that may be the calm before the storm.”


AKA

Stop Corrupt Iranian Oligarchs and Entities Act

Official Title

To require a report on oligarchs and parastatal entities of Iran, and for other purposes.

    Shouldn’t our intelligence community provide reports on all potential threats to national security to congress!!??
    Like (34)
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    Let’s have details of trump’s regime corruption. trump is a traitor and a corrupt criminal money laundering mobster.
    Like (61)
    Follow
    Share
    No... I believe that Congress is the only body that can declare war. It would behoove us then to give to Congress any and all intelligence reports that the Orange Commander in Chief himself receives, thereby saving additional time and money.. What we don’t need are some sanitized versions of something passing for Fox News intelligence handed to Congress which has been passed through DJT.
    Like (56)
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    Before we go galavanting to war we should better understand the corruption of the Republican Party. Especially that of their leader, Donald J. Trump.
    Like (51)
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    What, so you can justify ANOTHER WAR?!??! Isn’t four enough?!?! Stop drumming up support for your warmongering. Your not going to get anymore information than you already know, so quit trying to sell us the BS on another damn war!
    Like (39)
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    No. I think we need a report on the rampant corruption of the Trump administration. Oh wait, that’s the Mueller report. Now we just need to circumvent the crooked AG so congress can see it in full.
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    It’s their responsibility and duty of doing so & informing Congress. Endemic corruption in Iran enriches the ruling class while keeping ordinary Iranians impoverished. It also provides the Iranian state funds to support region-destabilizing terrorism across the Middle East. A better understanding of Iranian corruption is needed to combat it.
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    In general, we should keep track of and use our country’s leverage against any country that is sponsoring terrorism or working to undermine our government. However, I cannot support this particular bill AT THIS TIME. I fear it would be used politically as a justification for escalating a currently unjustified buildup of military resources in the Middle East. Further, a formal report risks exposing intelligence sources and methods - when the requested information should already be available to appropriate legislative committees.
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    How About dealing with corruption at home first? How about getting money out of politics and policy in America?
    Like (25)
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    This bill sounds like a thinly veiled saber rattling. Cool it. Before poking around on corruption and self-dealing and oligarchical structures in other countries, we could start with our own. Many people and corporations are profiting off the poor every day in this country. Where’s the outrage for that?
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    Let’s focus on our own corruption first. Our politicians are way richer than their salaries provide. Something is going on up on Capitol Hill and I for one want to know what it is.
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    Surely by now we and every other country that is party to the Iran pact have done adequate research on this topic. As many years as we have been fighting in the Middle East, and as dedicated as the Depts of State and DOD have been to monitoring the ongoing situations in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories and other Arab countries, you would think such a “report” would already be covered by existing intelligence activities. If the members of these committees need our support for their activities, why do we have them?
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    Hello pot meet kettle. The trump regime just declared an emergency to subvert congress and provide eight billion in military aid to the Saudis! I’m more concerned with the corruption emanating from the White House!
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    This is just a redoing of what is already known. Maybe there needs to be a report on the present administration in OUR COUNTRY. Serious Iran scholars already know where corruption is. A further report on this issue is completely unnecessary since we were part of the group which deescalated the Iranian nuclear deal. .
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    Of course they should. But, the President is right...until the democrats get over their Trump Derangement Syndrome, they won't listen anyway. For them, it's safety and security be damned.
    Like (12)
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    Do the Repugnacants want to do this for Saudi Arabia? Russia? America?
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    This is only to elevate the justification for Trump going to war, when we already know this information. This is to sell the American people the idea of war just like WMD’s under Bush.
    Like (11)
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    This would be a waste of time and money that is unlikely to provide new or useful information.
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    Deception, diversion, and distraction. This bill is duplicative of what already exists. Mr Kustoff is apparently looking for someone else to do his homework for him as this information is readily available.
    Like (10)
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    This corrupt and failed administration—and in particular, its lying draft-dodger President—must not be given cover in ANY form for their endless war-mongering in service of the military-industrial complex, which continues to have disproportionate influence over our government.
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