2,115 Deaths Caused by Workplace Accidents; Why Is Hope Declining in Iranian Society?



Economic Problems With Political Roots

In his editorial for Arman Melli, Mahdi Ayeti highlights that despite the lackluster performance of the government in economic matters, merely replacing individuals in positions of power is not a panacea for Iran’s deep-rooted issues. Ayeti argues that the crux of the problem lies beyond individuals or political bodies like the government or Parliament.

Whether it is President Raisi, Rouhani or Ahmadinejad at the helm, or speakers like Larijani or Ghalibaf, swapping figures in power will not yield significant change. Ayeti asserts that the real issue lies in the overarching views and policies governing Iran’s administration. He emphasizes that the failure to address these political fundamentals underpins the nation’s economic woes, particularly in its foreign policy approach. Ayeti warns that without a shift towards more open interaction with the global community, Iran will continue to face escalating sanctions and isolation.

He argues that fostering stronger ties with neighboring and international partners is imperative for Iran to integrate into the global economy, attract foreign investment, and resolve its monetary and banking challenges. Addressing pressing domestic concerns, Ayeti points out that under President Raisi, inflation has surged to unprecedented levels, severely impacting the cost of living and household budgets. He stresses that tackling such issues requires not just changing faces in government but also reforming both domestic and foreign policies for tangible, long-term improvements in the nation’s political and economic landscape. Ayeti notes that while holding the government accountable for its performance is crucial, true progress hinges on a comprehensive overhaul of policies, coupled with effective governance, to address Iran’s multifaceted challenges.

Arman Melli  

Why Is Hope Declining in Iranian Society?

Sayyed Javad Hosseini, in his editorial for Etemad newspaper, delves into the troubling state of hope within Iranian society, echoing the sentiments of Maqsood Forastkhah regarding its scarcity and the societal ramifications thereof. Hosseini contends that hope does not automatically emanate from Iran’s social framework but must be consciously cultivated in society. He criticizes the prevailing structures and power dynamics within Iranian society, which, he argues, perpetuate widespread disillusionment, particularly among the nation’s elites.

Backing his claims with empirical evidence, Hosseini cites various national surveys, including the National Social Capital Survey of 2015, revealing a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and scant hope for the system’s ability to address societal issues. He highlights statistics indicating diminishing prospects for societal welfare, unity and poverty alleviation, painting a bleak picture of Iran’s future trajectory.

Drawing international comparisons, Hosseini juxtaposes Iran’s economic growth over the past half-century with that of neighboring countries, showcasing a stark disparity in progress. He attributes this disparity to entrenched political and cultural constraints, such as restrictions on academic freedom and cultural expression, which further contribute to societal stagnation.

Hosseini reiterates the severity of the situation by referencing recent studies indicating a growing desire among Iranian students to migrate abroad and a notable decline in electoral participation. He emphasizes that hopelessness is not merely a psychological phenomenon but a systemic issue deeply rooted in Iran’s societal structures.

Moreover, Hosseini discusses the correlation between effective governance and the ability to address structural impediments to progress. He points to successful examples of institutional reform in other nations, contrasting them with Iran’s stagnant economic growth and escalating social inequalities.

Yet, Hosseini asserts that Iran’s socioeconomic structures perpetuate undesirable outcomes such as inflation, unemployment and poverty, ultimately fostering a culture of despair and discontent. He calls for comprehensive institutional reforms to address these systemic deficiencies and restore hope within Iranian society.


Nuclear Disarmament or Acquisition?

Saifulreza Shehabi, in his editorial for Mardon Salari, explores the global trend of militarization and the pivotal role of nuclear weapons in shaping international dynamics. Shehabi argues that many nations prioritize bolstering their military capabilities, including the development and possession of nuclear arms, as a means of exerting dominance and influence on the world stage.

Quoting a verse that underscores the significance of strength in worldly affairs, Shehabi emphasizes the widespread pursuit of military power as a means to assert authority and compel compliance from other nations. He specifically highlights the significance of nuclear weapons in this context, suggesting that possessing such arms acts as a deterrent against potential adversaries while also ensuring a measure of security.

Yet the editorial points to the case of India and Pakistan, where the acquisition of nuclear weapons has effectively deterred large-scale conflicts between the two countries. Similarly, he contends that the presence of nuclear arsenal in the hands of superpowers like the United States and Russia has prevented catastrophic wars between them.

Building on this analysis, the editorial proposes two conditions for achieving genuine and enduring peace in today’s world: firstly, the complete disarmament of nuclear-armed states, and secondly, universal nuclear armament among all nations. He warns of the dangers of unequal power dynamics and the potential for conflict between nuclear and non-nuclear states if these conditions are not met.

Focusing on the Middle East, Shehabi highlights the unique situation of the Zionist regime (referring to Israel) as the sole nuclear-armed state in the region. He argues that Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons contributes to instability and undermines prospects for a just peace. Shehabi suggests that regional equilibrium can only be achieved when other Middle Eastern nations acquire nuclear capabilities to counterbalance Israel’s perceived dominance.

In addition, Shehabi advocates for a reevaluation of global security paradigms, emphasizing the need for nuclear disarmament and universal nuclear armament as essential steps towards fostering genuine peace and stability in the world.

Mardom Salari

Don’t overlook diplomacy

In a recent editorial for Hammihanonline, Mohammad Ali Sobhani, a former Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Jordan and Qatar, delves into the intricate challenges bedeviling Iran’s foreign policy landscape. Sobhani paints a picture of a foreign policy apparatus grappling with external influences and structural impediments that have curtailed its effectiveness, leaving it vulnerable to criticism and internal frustrations.

The editorial points to a fundamental discrepancy between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other governmental entities, particularly those vested with hard power in regional affairs. He laments instances where the ministry finds itself sidelined or kept in the dark about significant developments, thus impeding its ability to execute its duties with precision and impact.

Drawing on past grievances articulated by foreign ministers and experts, Sobhani calls for a thorough reassessment of Iran’s decision-making processes in matters of foreign policy. He stresses the urgency of addressing systemic deficiencies to reassert the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ pivotal role in shaping Iran’s diplomatic agenda and advancing its national interests on the global stage.

Moreover, the editorial critiques Iran’s imbalanced relations with certain countries, decrying them as irrational and possibly influenced by external pressures. He advocates for a strategic overhaul, urging a recalibration of Iran’s approach to international relations to foster greater equilibrium and effectiveness in its engagements with the world.

Highlighting recent events, such as a reported military operation in Pakistan allegedly conducted without proper consultation with Iran’s diplomatic channels, Sobhani underscores how such actions undermine the credibility and efficacy of Iran’s diplomatic endeavors.

However, Sobhani refrains from laying blame solely at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ doorstep. Instead, he attributes these shortcomings to a broader failure among other governmental institutions to grasp the crucial role of diplomacy in decision-making processes. He underscores the imperative for a comprehensive reevaluation of Iran’s foreign policy mechanisms to ensure coherence and efficacy in navigating the complex web of international relations.


2,115 Deaths Caused by Workplace Accidents

The chief of the Crime Scene Investigation Unit at the country’s Forensic Medical Organization disclosed that 2,115 individuals succumbed to workplace accidents last year. This marks an 11.3% increase from the previous year’s death toll of 1,900. Ali Ziyai shared the breakdown, stating that 2,094 men and 21 women lost their lives in workplace accidents last year, compared to 1,870 men and 30 women the year before.

Ziyai highlighted the most affected regions, with Tehran, Isfahan, Khorasan Razavi and Mazandaran reporting the highest number of casualties, while Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad provinces, Ilam, Nafer and Zanjan reported the lowest. Falling from heights remained the leading cause of workplace fatalities, accounting for over half of the deaths. Ziyai noted a significant increase in such incidents, with 983 fatalities reported, up by 14.2% from the previous year. The second leading cause was being struck by a hard object, which claimed 474 lives, with a 14.5% rise compared to the year prior.

Additionally, electrocution, burns and asphyxiation were cited as common causes of death in workplace accidents, claiming 289, 131, and 55 lives respectively. Ziyai underscored a 5% increase in workplace accident victims who sought medical attention at forensic centers compared to the previous year. Of the 27,377 individuals injured, 1,427 were women and 25,950 were men, compared to 26,074 injuries the year before. In terms of injuries, Tehran, Isfahan and Khorasan Razavi reported the highest numbers, while Sistan and Balochistan, South Khorasan and Hormozgan reported the lowest.


BBC World: Nika Shakrami Sexually Assaulted and Killed by State Security Forces

In an exclusive report, BBC World has obtained a highly classified document shedding light on the harrowing ordeal of Nika Shakrami, a victim of the Mahsa Amini uprising. The document implicates three members of the Iranian republic’s security apparatus in her sexual assault and subsequent murder.

According to the document, meticulously compiled from the accounts of the accused security personnel, Nika faced egregious abuse at the hands of these individuals. It describes how she bravely resisted their advances, which only escalated the brutality she endured, including being subjected to baton strikes.

The authenticity of the document, a result of extensive investigative efforts by BBC World, has been rigorously verified over the course of several months. It is addressed to the highest echelons of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

This revelation adds to the gravity of a previous disclosure, obtained last year, which confirmed Nika’s sexual assault prior to her tragic demise. Initially reported as a suicide by authorities, Nika’s family discovered her lifeless body in a morgue, igniting widespread outrage and demands for justice.

The United Nations Independent Fact-Finding Committee’s comprehensive report on the Mahsa Amini uprising, released last year, had already highlighted the pervasive nature of sexual and gender-based violence during the protests, including instances of rape.

The confidential document reveals disturbing details about Nika’s surveillance by security forces during a demonstration near Tehran’s Laleh Park. She was singled out as a protest leader due to her conspicuous behavior and communication activities.

Nika’s attempt to evade arrest was in vain, leading to her confinement in a van with three security personnel. Despite being transported to a temporary detention facility, she was ultimately denied entry due to her alleged disruptive conduct, resulting in her transfer to Evin prison.

During the journey, commotion emanated from the rear of the van, indicative of a struggle. One of the implicated security officers admitted to physically engaging with Nika, while another denied these accusations but conceded to inappropriate touching. The team leader, upon halting the vehicle, made the grim discovery of Nika’s lifeless body.

Iran International

Sedigheh Vasmaghi Sends Letter to Fact-checking Committee

In a poignant appeal to the United Nations Fact-Finding Committee, Sedigheh Vasmaghi, an author and Islamic scholar, recounts her distressing ordeal of enduring more than 40 days of detention, during which she claims to have suffered brutal treatment and experienced vision loss. She urges human rights organizations not to relent in their efforts to combat the oppression of women, particularly by the Iranian republic.

In her letter, Vasmaghi asserts her lifelong commitment to studying and teaching Islamic jurisprudence, particularly concerning women’s attire. She argues that religiously, women are not obligated to cover their hair under Islamic Sharia, a perspective shared by some independent scholars. Expressing solidarity with countless Iranian women who have long opposed compulsory hijab laws, Vasmaghi reveals her own act of defiance by removing her headscarf in protest against women’s oppression.

She condemns the imposition of mandatory hijab as a political decree rather than a religious mandate, attributing it to the leadership of the Iranian republic. Vasmaghi recounts her arrest and imprisonment over allegations of forcibly removing her headscarf at home by government officials acting under the authority of the supreme leader of Iran. Transferred to Evin prison, she describes being interrogated without legal representation and barred from seeing her family due to her refusal to wear a headscarf.

Drawing on her experiences, Vasmaghi alleges that various state institutions, including the judiciary and security apparatus, employ coercive tactics to subdue political prisoners. Despite facing adversity, she asserts her commitment to defending human dignity.

In a post on her Instagram page, purportedly written by Vasmaghi, she denounces the inhumane treatment by the Iranian republic while vowing to uphold human dignity. She criticizes the regime’s use of imprisonment, solitary confinement, denial of visits and medical care, as well as other social and legal deprivations, to enforce compliance with its dictates.

Vasmaghi discloses that since her transfer to Evin prison in March of the previous year, she has been barred from meeting her family due to her refusal to wear a headscarf, despite authorities’ purported lack of legal basis for such restrictions.

DW Persian

The Iranian Parliament Research Center Issues Warning on Decline in Calorie Consumption

A deeper examination of calorie consumption trends reveals a significant shift in dietary habits and economic realities. The downward trajectory of average calorie intake in Iran over the past decade reflects broader economic challenges, primarily driven by persistent inflation and diminishing purchasing power.

High inflation rates have not only inflated food prices but have also eroded the economic capabilities of Iranian households. As a result, families are forced to make difficult decisions regarding their spending, often prioritizing essential expenses like housing and utilities over food. This economic strain has particularly affected middle-income deciles, who lack the financial resilience of higher-income groups but also lack the safety net available to lower-income households.

The phenomenon of middle-income deciles being disproportionately impacted by food inflation is compounded by their limited access to durable goods and financial assets. Unlike higher-income segments of society, who may have investments and savings to buffer against economic fluctuations, middle-income families rely heavily on their day-to-day income to meet basic needs. This leaves them vulnerable to sudden price hikes and economic downturns, forcing them to tighten their belts and reduce discretionary spending, including on food.

Furthermore, the efficacy of cash subsidies in mitigating the effects of inflation varies across income brackets. While lower-income households may benefit from these subsidies to some extent, middle-income families often find these insufficient to offset rising costs. Consequently, these households are compelled to make difficult trade-offs, including reducing their food consumption, to stretch their limited budgets.

The implications of declining calorie consumption extend beyond mere dietary concerns. Inadequate nutrition can have far-reaching consequences for public health, exacerbating existing health disparities and increasing susceptibility to chronic diseases. Moreover, food insecurity and malnutrition can hinder educational attainment and economic productivity, perpetuating cycles of poverty and inequality.

Addressing the underlying factors driving the decline in calorie consumption requires a multifaceted approach. Efforts to curb inflation and enhance economic stability are paramount, as is the implementation of targeted social safety nets to support vulnerable populations. Additionally, initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth can help alleviate poverty and improve access to nutritious food options for all Iranians.

The downward trend in average calorie consumption in Iran underscores the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address economic challenges and ensure food security for all segments of society. By prioritizing policies that foster economic resilience, reduce inequality, and promote access to nutritious food, Iran can work towards building a healthier, more prosperous future for its citizens.


Editorial Team