A man tries to cross a flooded road damaged by Cyclone Gonu near Jusk seaport, 2,000 km (1,240 miles) southeast of Tehran, June 8, 2007.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MORTEZA NIKOUBAZL)
Iran's Deputy Attorney-General Javid Javidnia declared that celebrities and other non-state entities are "banned" from raising money to help the victims of the massive floods in northern Iran over the weekend that were so severe that the armed forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were deployed to deal with the crisis.
With the IRGC now leading efforts to deal with the flood’s aftermath, the national emergency has illustrated cleavages in the government’s ability to respond to a natural disaster.
Javidnia told the Judiciary's online state-run news service Monday to warn celebrities that any bank accounts opened with the purpose of raising money for victims will be closed immediately, and that the government has already shut down 60 said accounts.
According to the official, the funds collected by the shuttered bank accounts will be transferred over to government agencies for helping the flood victims
. Acknowledging the past in order to console public concerns, Javidnia traced-back to previous occurrences in which the funds raised for natural disasters were linked and used by the government on unrelated matters, committing financial fraud in the process.
The deputy attorney-general also warned than any crowd-funding not facilitated through the Red Crescent Society or any other official aid committee will be rejected the same from assisting the victims.
Past disasters in Iran have proven that the general population prefers to contribute money through special accounts facilitated by popular icons in the country, rather than trusting official government bodies with the money – as the public holds much distrust in their abilities to use the funding for the designated purpose.
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