Iranian president engulfed in bank scandal

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been drawn into Iran’s biggest bank scandal after a parliamentary commission investigating the fraud announced they were investigating his office for possible connections to the crime.

In a move designed to put pressure on Ahmadinejad, Iranian legislators loyal to the countries Islamic ruler Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei have written a letter supporting the decision.

The crime involves around seven banks including the biggest bank in the Muslim world Bank Melli, and alleges embezzlement of 30 trillion Iranian rials – more than $2.5 billion – which is almost 1% of Iran’s GDP.

The head of Bank Melli fled the country for Canada in late September, Press and TV have reported.  The investigation has thus far led to 22 arrests and the resignation of three of Iran’s highest banking officials.

Ahmadinejad is considered a liberal by the country’s hard liners and Religious ultra-conservative politicians will use the situation in order to force the president to fall into line with the country’s supreme leader.