In a forest on the shore of Lake Wandlitz, 9 kilometers north of East Berlin, surrounded by high walls and guarded by a special department, stood what was dubbed “Honecker City” or “Volvograd”, after the luxury Swedish cars driven by the high communist officials. (The proletariat drove the Trabant.) From 1960 to 1989. Waldsiedlung housed the most senior party members of the German Democratic Republic The enclave included special shops with unobtainable goods, villas with swimming pools furnished with precious woods and marbles and West German household appliances.
“Many of you are wondering: Where are the sons of the regime leaders? We will soon reveal interesting information! Follow us."
The Iranian Revolution also has its Wandlitz.
“Many of you are wondering: Where are the sons of the regime leaders? We will soon reveal interesting information! Follow us”. This is the announcement in Farsi of the Israel Defense Forces channel. It is followed by a series of photographs with captions such as these:
“The son of former Vice President Aliabadi next to luxury cars.”
“Khomeini's nephew driving a BMW”.
“The marriage of the son of the Iranian ambassador to Denmark in one of the most expensive places in Tehran."
"The daughters of high officials wearing shorts, while 'normal' people are condemned to be whipped for not wearing the veil”.
And again: “The son of former President Khatami abroad”.
More than 4,000 “aghazadeh” (the children of wealthy Iranian regime officials) are studying in the UK.
The financial empire of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, is worth at least $95 billion. According to Reuters, Khamenei, his son Mojtaba and other family members took the money to foreign banks from Switzerland to the Arab Emirates.
Iranian economist Manouchehr Farahbakhsh, who lives in London, said that from simple farmers before the Islamic revolution, they became billionaires.
The wealth of Mojtaba, Khamenei's second son, is estimated at three billion.
Khamenei's third son, Seyyed Masoud, who is responsible for managing many of the Supreme Leader's highly profitable institutions, has accumulated more than 400 million.
Khamenei's youngest son, Maitham, married the daughter of one of Iran's most famous traders.
Khamenei's eldest daughter, Bushra, married the son of her father's office director.
Khamenei's other daughter, Hoda, has a great interest in designer clothes and owns a beauty salon.
Khamenei's nephew, Hassan, is responsible for state television broadcasting, as well as purchasing cameras and other electronic equipment for the regime's television stations.
The son of a diplomat, Sasha Sobhani, posts images of his “decadent” lifestyle in the West. And so on.
Mahmoud Bahmani, former governor of the Central Bank of Iran, joined the critics, saying that more than 5,000 of the regime's “rich children” live outside Iran and that together they have 148 billion in bank accounts, more than the country's foreign exchange reserves.
Meanwhile, World Bank statistics have revealed that Iran has had a terrible economic meltdown over the last forty years as a result of clerical rule. World Bank estimates, based on Iranian purchasing power between 1976 and 2017, that during this period an average Iranian became 32 percent poorer than before. Moreover, more than 40% of the Iranian population lives below the poverty line. The mostafazin, the poor Iranians behind the religious uprising against the Shah, are getting poorer and poorer, while the Khomeinists are getting richer and richer.
This is the rule respected by every revolution. It also happens in the Soviet Union, as Michael Voslensky denounced in “Nomenklatura”. A world of nepotism, from Brezhnev's son at the Ministry of Foreign Trade, to Khrushchev's son-in-law, who suddenly became a member of the Central Committee; a world of separate cemeteries, so that they wouldn't have to mingle in the earth with the proletarians; up to the pyjamas bought at the Lafayette warehouses and the pink carpet in the office.
The old story of greed and hypocrisy on the part of the “oni”, literally "they" in Russian, referring to those who make the revolution is having a second showing in Iran.