Environmental crises and the role of the Iranian dictatorship
Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Jan. 28, 2019 - Instability and terror are not the only contributions of the Iranian regime to the region. Long-term and even permanent damages to the environment have not been contained within Iranian borders either.
Remember, this regime has executed more than 120 thousand people, committed the most heinous massacre after the WWII, and has driven more than 80 percent of the population of potentially one of the richest countries of the world below the line of poverty. Expecting anything but mismanagement and neglect towards environmental issues from this regime is nothing but a bitter joke.
Under the reign of this dictatorial regime, the environment has also faced a "massacre" of water, soil, forests, lakes, wild life, grasslands, and air.
The dimensions of Iran's environmental crises
Talking about environmental crises in Iran, one should bear in mind the unthinkable standards of devastation by the regime. Let us look at some facts and figures to which the regime's officials have confessed:
- According to a report by "Strategic Majlis Research Center", published on September 2016, 60% of Iran's forests have been destroyed in the past three decades". The report estimates the rate of destruction to be at 400,000 acres per year and concludes, "If this trend continues for 31 more years, there will be no forests left in Iran."
- Iran's head of Environment Agency said on February 3. 2018, "All registered wetlands in Iran have either been dried or are on the verge of destruction. Our longterm policies were the cause of destruction of wetlands and environment in general." (Mehr News Agency)
- Iran is the number one in the world in soil erosion and desertification.
- Every year, 45,000 Iranians lose their lives due to air pollution (ISNA News Agency)
- According to Quartz Research Institute, Four of the top ten airpolluted cities of the world belong to Iran, with Ahwaz topping the list.
- The rate of reduction of wildlife population is estimated to be 80 to 90 percent.
- Sellout of Iran’s soil has become common practice by the regime. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tons of fertile Iranian soil are exported to other countries to build artificial islands. This treasonous policy has transformed many fertile parts of the country into deserts that have caused the current dust storm crisis.
- Four out of five big salt lakes in Iran have dried out. According to Iranian officials, the death of Qom’s salt lake will lead to an environmental disaster with more catastrophic consequences than those of Lake Urmia, another famous salt lake in Iran. The dust and haze that arises from a driedout Lake will impact approximately one quarter of Iran’s population.
It is not fair to say that the regime has done nothing concerning environment, because it has. Some examples:
- On January 2018, five environmental activists were arrested by the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Intelligence. After holding them in prison for nine months, the clerical regime's prosecutor indicted them with charges of "corruption on earth," indicating that their files are ready to be submitted to court. (IRGC News Agency October 21, 2018). This was despite the fact that the regime’s judiciary had previously charged them with spying.
- An attorney and environmental activist, Farshid Hakki, was killed suspiciously on October 17, 2018 near his house in Tehran and his body was burned down. A few days after the widespread posting of this news on social networks, IRGCaffiliated media quoted coroner’s office that the cause of his death was self-immolation.
- A number of activists and environmental experts were arrested by the IRGC Intelligence on January 24, 2018. One of them, Dr. Kavous Seyed Emami, 64, a university professor and former director of the Wildlife Agency, died two weeks after being arrested under the torture in Evin Prison, but the regime foolishly claimed that he had committed suicide. Just in case you are not familiar with this very common method of killing by the regime, one should be reminded that last year at least 14 of the detainees of the uprising were killed under torture. But the regime declared the cause of death as "suicide" or "unavailability of drugs" or "extensive use of narcotics". Hassan Nowroozi, a spokesman for the Legal and Judicial Committee of the Majlis (Parliament), said in a outrageous comments: "They were contemptuous of what they had done and died due to sorrow, or committed suicide after realizing the heinousness of their work.
What is to be done?
If the roots of the environmental crises of Iran are recognized to be political and lie in the very existence of the regime in power, then logically the solution must be in the removal of the cause.
In her speech at the Resistance's grand gathering in Paris on June 30, 2018, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi formulated this logical solution and said:
"We believe it is possible to eradicate high prices, poverty, unemployment, shanty dwelling, water shortage and environmental calamities. But, before anything else, the trampled political rights, specifically the right to sovereignty of the Iranian people, must be restored and revived. This is the aim of our Resistance and the raison d’etre for the NCRI".
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