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Iran is spending more money on culture, but where's the accountability?

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani is moving to increase spending allocated to administration-controlled cultural entities. Yet a vast portion of cultural spending continues to go to organizations that are not held accountable.
Iranian Culture Minister Ali Jannati (R) looks at US artist Jackson Pollock's "Mural on Indian Red Ground" (1950) during the opening ceremony of an exhibition of modern art at Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art (TMOCA) in the capital, on November 20, 2015. Some of the world's most expensive and rarely seen modern art, including works by the Americans Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, which are part of a collection bought in the 1970s by dealers acting for Farah, the

With all eyes on the lifting of sanctions on Iran, and the country’s upcoming Feb. 26 parliamentary elections, little attention has been paid to the budget bill for the next Iranian year, which President Hassan Rouhani submitted to parliament Jan. 17.

A review of the bill shows an intricate move on the part of the Rouhani administration to increase the funding allocated to the cultural bodies under its control relative to those nominally under the control of the supreme leader, but effectively accountable to no one.

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