Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday called on judicial authorities to fight corruption in the country, a statement on his website said. “The issue of fighting corruption should be taken seriously; there is corruption,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in major state policies, said during a meeting with judicial officials. Iran is among the most corrupt countries in the world, ranking 150th out of 180 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2021. “In the judiciary, in the executive branch or elsewhere, there are some structures that naturally create corruption; those structures have to be broken down,” Khamenei said. In September 2020, Iran condemned former top judiciary official Akbar Tabari to 31 years in prison for corruption, one of the heaviest sentences against a former official in the Islamic republic. Iran has been mired in economic crisis since 2018 when the United States under then president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal and began imposing sweeping sanctions on America’s arch foe. Last month, demonstrations against the rising cost of living and corruption were held in several Iranian cities.