12 arrested in Iran for embezzling over $4.5b

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during a ceremony at the Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) in Tehran on May 11, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/HO/ PRESIDENCY WEBSITE)

TEHERAN – Iranian authorities have arrested 12 people for siphoning off more than $4.5 billion from one of the country’s main banks over several years, media reported Thursday.

The reports come amid government vows to clamp down on corruption in a bid to revive an economy devastated by decades of international sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani warned Monday that corruption poses a threat to the Islamic republic, pinning the blame on monopolies.

The suspects embezzled from the Kerman branch of Tejarat Bank from 2009 until their arrest in 2013, Shargh newspaper quoted local prosecutor Yadollah Movahed as saying…