London, March 16, IRNA-Perceptions of the degree of corruption in Iran as seen by business people, academics and risk analysts marginally grew last year, according to the latest report by Transparency International on Wednesday.
In its new index, Iran slipped down to 87th with a Corruption Perception score of 2.9 in its league of 146 countries compared with 78th with a score 3.0 in its league of 133 countries in 2003. Most of the fall was due to countries previously not included.
Amongst other Persian Gulf countries, Oman also dropped back from 26th to 29th, Bahrain from 27th to 34th, Qatar from 32nd to 38th, Kuwait from 35th to 44th and Saudi Arabia from 46th to 71st, while the UAE moved up from 37th to 29th.
Falls by other neighboring countries included Armenia from joint 78th with Iran to 82nd, Russia from 86th to 90th, Pakistan from 92nd to 129th, Turkmenistan from 124th to 133rd and Azerbaijan also from joint 124th to 140th.
Iraq, whose post-war reconstruction was highlighted as being in danger of becoming 'the biggest corruption scandal in history', also dropped from 113th to 129th.
At the top of the index, Finland retained its first-place ranking with the cleanest Corruption Perception score of 9.7, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Iceland and Singapore.
The UK also held onto its 11th place ranking, although its score fell back from 8.7 to 8.6, behind Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, and the Netherlands. The US was placed 17th, with the same ranking and score as in 2003.
Transparency International, based in Berlin and London, is a non- governmental organization with more than 85 independent national chapters around the world devoted to combating corruption. The index is the third it has produced since 2002.
Launching the latest report, its chairman Peter Egan said that corruption in large-scale public projects was a 'daunting obstacle' to sustainable development.
"Corruption wastes money, bankrupts countries and costs lives," he warned.
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