Astan Quds Razavi is stealing the wealth of Iran’s people
Astan Quds Razavi is the administrative organization managing Iran’s most important shrine, the Imam Reza shrine (the eighth leader of Shia Muslim). Estimated to be worth $15 billion, Astan Quds Razavi is a dictator in Mashhad’s economy and its wealth increases at the expense of the citizens who can’t pay their rent.
The bonyad’s power is getting too big: it owns the Economic Organization of Astan Quds Razavi, the Carpet Company, the Housing and Construction Company, the Bread Manufacturing Industry, the Wood Industry, the Dairy Products Company, the Agricultural Units of Astan Quds Razavi, the Razavi Brokerage Company, and the Razavi Transport Company – and more! Moreover, it heads the publications Quds Daily, Za'ir Magazine and Haram magazine. It is also behind vital cultural and educational institutions such as Imam Reza University, the Islamic Research Foundation, the Museums of Astan Quds Razavi, the Razavi Cultural Foundation, and the Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi. Not to mention it has too much political sway: the head of the foundation, Ayatollah Abbas Vaez-Tabasi, is a member of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, which supervises the Supreme Leader.
The organization is also responsible for protecting land and properties. There is a common announcement written on the walls of empty properties in different parts of Mashhad city: “All of this land (property) has been endowed and belongs to Astan Quds Razavi.” The policy behind this is to grab ownership of these lands since they do not belong to anyone. If anyone claims that he/she owns the lands, the foundation buys the property at a very cheap price. There is little resistance; owners may lose their land if they resist selling it to Astan Quds Razavi. Of course if no-one claims any possession on the land then Astan Quds Razavi owns it.
Should a religious organization have this much power in our economy, welfare, wealth, politics, and culture?
There needs to be more checks and balances here. This bonyad is growing in power and size day by day, and it is not taking the time to consider the situation of poor people because it is too busy collecting their money and controlling their properties!