The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, estimates that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, owns assets worth about $200 billion.
Last week, the embassy posted on its Facebook page that the regime in Iran is rife with corruption from top to bottom, with Khamenei reaping the most benefits, Iran News Wire reported.
Meanwhile, the embassy added, the Iranian people "languish in poverty because of the dire economic situation in Iran after 40 years of rule by the mullahs."
Reuters found in 2013, after a six-month investigation, that Khamenei controls exclusively a business empire, called Setad, worth around $95 billion.
"Setad has become one of the most powerful organizations in Iran, though many Iranians, and the wider world, know very little about it," Reuters reported at the time. "In the past six years, it has morphed into a business juggernaut that now holds stakes in nearly every sector of Iranian industry, including finance, oil, telecommunications, the production of birth-control pills, and even ostrich farming."
The report also showed how "Setad built its empire on the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary Iranians: members of religious minorities like Vahdat-e-Hagh, who is Baha'i, as well as Shi'ite Muslims, business people, and Iranians living abroad."
The regime also exempts several profitable religious institutions, many of which Khamenei controls, from taxes.
As Khamenei and his allies in the regime receive billions of dollars, the Iranian people are suffering from poverty.
Most estimates put Iran's poverty level at somewhere between 30 and 40 percent, but last year, a member of the Iranian parliament's Economic Committee said that 80 percent of the country's population live below the poverty line.
A senior official at the International Monetary Fund said that inflation could reach 40 percent this year as the Iranian economy continues to shrink.
As the economy crumbles, Iranians have expressed outrage at their government's response to major flooding caused by heavy rain across Iran, claiming that the Islamist regime cares more about crushing protests than helping those who are suffering.
Published under: Ali Khamenei , Iran