No “Life Quality” in Tehran; Khamenei Blames Economic Weaknesses for “Lack of People’s Turnout”


ISIS; Agent of the United States and Israel

The editorial of Arman Melli alleges that Israel and the  United States are behind the recent terrorist attack in the city of Kerman, although ISIS claimed responsibility for it.

The measures taken by Israel during the past weeks – no matter where, when and how – have all been aiming at one goal: damaging the idea of the Resistance Axis. The Resistance Axis has become active against the Israeli regime all over the region. Tel Aviv suffered a heavy defeat in Operation Al Aqsa Flood (Storm), losing 800 tanks and armored vehicles with 7000 people wounded, killed, and taken as captives – there was no such damage in the previous wars.

When Israel reaches a dead end and cannot face the Resistance forces, it turns to terrorist measures. ISIS has now turned into a pawn in the hands of the United States and Israel and the remains of ISIS and other terrorist groups in the region are now under the aegis of the United States and the Israeli regime. These terrorists are ready to commit crimes, such as the attack in Kerman, for only $10,000.

Now, the same people are being trained in Syria, Jordan, and Iraq to be used as terrorists by Israel to strike Iran. Although these groups’ methods are different from Israel’s, they are all after damaging the Resistance Axis – something which suits Israel very well.

It must be noted that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed to take revenge  on Iran based on the theory of a thousand stabs. Israelis are wounded by the Resistance forces, so wherever they can, they will take measures against the Resistance Axis. The bloodshed in Kerman was their retaliation after their recent defeat in Operation Al Aqsa Flood.

Such terrorist acts will be on the rise, while the Resistance Axis becomes stronger. In Iran there are 25,000 martyrs because of acts of terrorism. Such acts will only strengthen the Iranian people’s resolve.

It is not enough that Iran’s security forces have identified and arrested the terrorists; people expect them to take the necessary measures to stop the terrorists before carrying out their vicious acts in Iran.   

Arman Melli

Economic Gap Between North and South of the Gulf

The editorial of Arman Emrooz identifies the reasons why the countries located in the southern parts of the Gulf are doing better economically than the northern Gulf countries.

The Gulf states are divided into two groups: northern countries include Iran and Iraq, and southern countries include the UAE, Bahrain and Oman.

The economic gap between these two groups of countries has considerably increased. This gap can be viewed from two perspectives: as for economic growth, the southern countries have had high growth mostly because of their oil revenues. But the northern countries have had  lower economic growth for different reasons including sanctions against Iran, war in Iraq, and political instability in Kuwait and Qatar.

From the viewpoint of economic development, the southern Gulf countries have made considerable progress in different fields. This includes developing infrastructure, education, health and tourism. On the other hand, the northern Gulf countries have made less progress in these fields.

Many reasons can be cited for the economic chasm between northern and southern countries in the Gulf, including the differences in their natural resources. The southern Gulf countries are in possession of huge oil and gas reserves, which makes it possible for them to generate high revenues from exporting oil and gas and use these revenues for their economic development. But the northern countries do not have as much natural resources and accordingly earn less revenues from exporting oil and gas.

There are also differences in economic policies. The southern Gulf countries have adopted more liberal economic policies in comparison with the northern Gulf countries. These policies have made it possible for these countries to attract more foreign investment thus boosting their economic growth. But the northern Gulf countries have implemented less liberal economic policies.

Arman Emrooz

Meaningful Terrorist Act!

The editorial of Shargh daily penned by former lawmaker Jalal Mirzaee argues that the recent terrorist attack in eastern Iran sends certain serious signals to Iran.

The recent terrorist act in the city of Kerman, which martyred and wounded many Iranian citizens during Qassem Soleimani’s martyrdom anniversary, can be assessed from different perspectives. This blind act of terrorism is strongly condemned but can be seen as meaningful.

It must be considered that after Operation Al Aqsa Flood by Hamas, the Israeli regime has unleashed an unprecedented massacre in the Gaza Strip, but it has not been able to realize any considerable achievements. On the other hand, as a result of the Israelis’ conflict along the northern borders of Palestine with the Lebanese Hezbollah and also in the Red Sea, Israeli officials are under unprecedented security, military and defense pressure.

Amidst all these, the Zionist regime and the United States have reiterated their allegations about Iran’s support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Ansarallah and Hezbollah to push the global community to confront Tehran.

So there is this speculation that the Israelis who are struggling to deal with the current crisis might be after spreading insecurity across Iran. The fact that this terrorist act took place on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Qassem Soleimani in Kerman shows that this act intended to send certain signals to Tehran.

This terrorist act is meant to create insecurity in Iran, particularly given the fact that three months after the Gaza war, Tehran is still decisively expressing support for the Resistance Axis, whose symbolic leader was Soleimani. So this terrorist act during the ceremony of the death anniversary of Soleimani is meant to sabotage Iran’s power and decisiveness in backing the Resistance Axis.

It is also possible that there are hidden hands pursuing a more serious confrontation between Iran and Israel.

Three months after the attack on Israel, such terrorist acts within Iran must have been expected. So now individuals must be held accountable about why such bitter incidents take place and they do nothing about it.


Fabricating Statistics Instead of Building Houses!

The editorial of Jahan Sanat argues that the government is making up statistics and numbers to cover up the fact that it has not taken any steps to fulfill its promises regarding housing projects.

Ebrahim Raisi’s government, like previous governments, is after fabricating statistics, meaning that it manufactures statistics to claim success for its projects and plans. If officials intended to help people, they would give priority to finishing the Mehr Housing Project which after 18 years has not been completed yet.

A glimpse of towns around Tehran shows that there are several houses in the Mehr Project that remain incomplete while waiting for an injection of financial resources. This government, too, like the previous ones, fabricates statistics while doing nothing in particular.

Taking a look at towns like Parand, Pardis and other places indicates that after 18 years there are still incomplete and unfinished houses.

Recently, the minister of roads and urban development announced that 1,930,000 housing units were under construction, but offered no details. He should have provided details about the units that are allegedly under construction. The numbers he presented, without giving details, were only given to prove that Ebrahim Raisi, the head of the government, is fulfilling his election campaign promises.

But the point is that such measures will not work because, given Iran’s  current economic circumstances and the recent  disclosure of rent-seeking cases, we realize that officials are only after fabricating numbers and statistics. By fabricating these numbers, they have been able control the auto market to some extent, but nothing special has happened.

After the passing of  legislation by the Parliament for importing second-hand vehicles, a small number of automobiles were imported but that too was for fabricating numbers. Nothing happened in actuality, and they just sought to  control the auto market.  

This is much worse when it comes to the case of housing projects. The housing market is in absolute recession. The gap between wages and incomes and housing costs is widening day by day. Officials only seek to fabricate numbers and statistics and misinform people.  

Jahan Sanat

Imprisoned Nobel Laureate Condemns ISIS and the Iranian Government Equally

2023 Nobel Peace Laureate Narges Mohammadi has denounced the recent terrorist attack in Kerman in a statement saying, “Violence is violence, whether by a religious tyranny or by some terrorist, Islamist jihadists.” 

Comparing ISIS to the Iranian ruling establishment, she added, “Terrorist and anti-humane measures of ISIS who have killed dozens of individuals are condemned, just like executing hundreds of people in the prisons of the Islamic Republic regime.”

Mohammadi’s statement was published on her Instagram page after two bombs exploded on the fourth death anniversary of former IRGC Commander Qassem Soleimani in Kerman which killed nearly 100 people and wounded scores of others.

Pointing to Iranian officials’ claims regarding the “destruction of ISIS in the region,” she noted that while they call Iran “a stable, secure country in the region, ISIS commits killing operations one after another in the heart of this country.”

Mohammadi, currently in jail for her human rights activities, also mentioned that the Iranian establishment keeps vowing hard revenge against terrorist attacks, but instead takes “illegal, showy measures out of desperation” by hanging individuals without fair trial and merely based on their coerced confessions in solitary cells.

According to Mohammadi, the recent bombings in Kerman have caused major concerns among human rights defenders over the imminent execution of prisoners on death row in Iran.

This human rights activist who has been repeatedly arrested and incarcerated over the past two decades urged the world to stand for human rights and peace, stating, “Security can neither be provided nor lasts without freedom, justice and democracy.”

Radio Farda

Khamenei Blames Economic Weaknesses for “Lack of People’s Turnout” 

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in his recent emphasis on the necessity of participation in the upcoming elections, indirectly blamed the “economic weaknesses” in the country for the lack of public participation in the elections.

In his public speech on Tuesday, he allocated a large part of his talk to the issue of public turnout in the elections.

In this speech in which he addressed a public gathering in the  city of Qom, he indirectly called those people who do not take part in elections as “followers of the enemy’s policies” and blamed the existing economic issues on them.

Khamenei blamed the low public turnout in the  elections on the economic problems in the country without mentioning the widespread financial and economic corruption which plagues different echelons of the establishment.

Last week, he only mentioned political, financial and economic corruption cases briefly, claiming that one of the strong points of the theocratic establishment is fighting corruption.

The claim of fighting corruption in the theocratic establishment and in Ebrahim Raisi’s government is made while huge corruption cases have been exposed in recent years, the most recent of which was roughly the $4 billion corruption scandal related to Debsh Tea.

The upcoming elections of the Parliament and Assembly of Experts have obviously made Khamenei concerned about the low public turnout, as there has been a sharp decline in the number of voters in elections ever since 2017.

On several occasions, he has called these elections “very important,” and demanded in his meeting with women that they urge their husbands and children to be active in the elections, while eventually adding that “opposition to elections is opposition to Islam.”

The Iranian supreme leader, however, has not pointed in his speeches to the extensive disqualification of candidates or to the government’s inattention to people’s demands including freedom of choice with regard to dress codes, livelihood issues and introducing and punishing those who inflicted violence on citizens in the nationwide protests of 2022. 

Radio Farda

Iran International

Disruption in Importing Gas From Turkmenistan; on Threshold of Gas Crisis in Iran

According to Iranian media, amidst Iran’s multiple problems in the energy field, Iran’s natural gas imports from Turkmenistan have come to a halt. It is not clear if this is for technical reasons or due to other factors.

According to Tasnim news agency, both sides have started negotiations to resume natural gas trade, but no reasons have been given for this halt. It is not clear if this disruption is temporary or will continue.

Since December 2021, Turkmenistan has undertaken a gas swap for delivery to the Azerbaijan Republic. Last spring, both countries agreed on exporting Turkmenistan’s gas to Iran.

In the first five months of last year, apart from the gas swap operation, Iran has reportedly imported 6.25 million cubic meters of gas on average from Turkmenistan for domestic use daily. The highest level of Iran’s gas imports from Turkmenistan were in the first month of spring at about 9 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Iran’s daily gas deficit this winter is estimated to be at 300 million cubic meters.  A few months ago, Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding for purchasing gas from Turkmenistan according to which the Ashgabat government would deliver 9 billion cubic meters of gas to Iran annually, and Iran will deliver the same amount to Iraq.

Accordingly, Iran will export Turkmenistan’s gas to Iraq instead of its own gas.  Last year, Iran exported roughly 18 billion cubic meters of gas, but according to next year’s budget bill, the government has predicted exporting 12 billion cubic meters of gas.

Gas outages in winter in Iran can become a serious problem for the country. It is predictable that there will be gas outages and restrictions as well as power outages for industries, just as there were last summer.

Independent Persian

Radio Farda

No “Life Quality” in Tehran; the Capital of the Depressed

Iranian media echoed the official report of Tehran Municipality, saying that 99.7% of Tehranis are not “lively” and people living in Iran’s capital have become depressed as a result of the lack of “public and recreational spaces.”

According to the report conducted by the Center for Studies and Planning for Tehran — dubbed as a “megapolis of the depressed” — 99.7% of people living in Tehran lack “vitality.”

Previously, the Parliament’s Research Center had announced in a similar report that the “environmental pressure” index in Tehran is 323 on average which is interpreted as the peak of the crisis of lack of access to a proper environment and urban services.

The vitality index shows the level of happiness or depression.

Chaos in the city, poor conditions in city parks, improper waste disposal and too many vehicles are suggested as some factors interfering with the capital’s residents’ happiness.

The Parliament’s Research Center too had pointed to the drop in the quality of life in Tehran, calling for stopping construction of new buildings in the capital city.

Experts blame economic problems, social restrictions, the mode of governance, lack of individual freedoms, imposition of a certain lifestyle and dress codes, alongside the system of  urban management, as the causes of depression and frustration in society. 

In the meantime, in a claim that came as a surprise to everybody, the Iranian law-enforcement chief said that the “feeling of security” in Tehran is on the rise day by day.

Alleging that Tehran’s police forces have effectively confronted the “thieves and thugs,” Ahmadreza Radan stated that 1,000 motorcycles have been organized to get “our units” to any geographical destinations as soon as possible.

These remarks were made while in recent months there have been many reports of an increase in muggings and robberies and heightened insecurity on the streets of Tehran.

Many experts correlate the increase in crime rates to the exacerbation of harsh economic conditions and unemployment in Iran.


VOA Persian

Editorial Team