Unfulfilled Promises to People
The editorial of Arman Melli, penned by Hossein Moussavi Tabrizi, head of the Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom, underscores that the Iranian people are fed up with the authorities’ unfulfilled promises.
Iranian officials must know that people will not believe the propaganda and promises they make on radio and television. Obviously, people have heard this sort of rhetoric before and are well aware that countless promises were made and not fulfilled in the past.
These days, people are expressing themselves very clearly, and because of the issue of high prices and low incomes, they cannot make ends meet, even though they are living as frugally as possible. It is not clear why some officials still make promises to people that they cannot keep. What is clear is that people are drowning in their own livelihood problems and economic crisis, while their lives are deteriorating.
People can no longer wait, they can no longer even buy bread, and they cannot be told to be more patient. People are aware and can see for themselves what is going on in society.
People have many complaints, and the officials should not think that people are going to wait forever. Again and again, promises have been made; again and again they have remained unfulfilled. Officials keep making promises, but people see that nothing changes in their lives, as they keep struggling in their daily lives.
What is also very important is lifting sanctions, as they have a significant impact on people’s lives and the country’s economy. It seems that the country’s foreign policy can considerably influence what is going on in society.
The Government and the Migration of Elites
The editorial of Arman Melli focuses on the issue of brain drain, urging that the government should come up with long-term plans to stop the elites and educated youths from migrating from Iran.
According to some statistics, roughly 4 million Iranians have migrated to other countries, with 300,000 people leaving the country in the past three years – a number that is very concerning.
Within the country, migration from less developed regions to more prosperous ones is blamed on lack of employment, education, health, and the shortage of welfare in deprived regions. Such migrations are considered as natural, and governments are rebuked for not paying attention to balanced development within the country.
But in recent years, migration within the country has turned into migration to advanced countries. What is concerning is that the elites and university graduates are in the front line of those migrating to other countries, and it is said that 56 percent of Olympic medal holders and 78 percent of those with scored high scores in university entrance exams have left the country.
Iran is very much in need of these educated youths, but these experts have been trained in Iran and leave to work in other countries which have not invested in their education! These elites and educated people are so valuable that advanced countries seek to lure them by offering them very good opportunities.
Of course, a number of these immigrants are those who have gone to study in foreign universities, but are then incentivized to stay on because of the better prospects and living standards in those countries.
The issue of migration of elites is so important that it must be dealt with as a national problem and challenge. When there is no employment for these people within the country, how can we expect them to stay in the country? When widespread nepotism, corruption and embezzlement have taken over the country, when salaries are not enough to pay for expenses, when inflation rates and high prices are constantly on the rise, people lose hope for a bright future. So, as soon as there is a good opportunity for them in another country, they will start migrating from the country.
Now, it is the government’s responsibility to adopt a strategic approach towards the issue of migration, and come up with long-term plans for balanced development in the country to offer a better future for young people.
Employing the Same Tired Approach!
The editorial of Aftab Yazd argues that officials in Raisi’s government must stop blaming all the country’s problems on former officials, calling it an old trick which does not work any longer.
It has been almost four months since the new government as well as Tehran’s mayor have taken office, but they still blame previous officials for all the country’s problems. This reminds us of when we were children. When we made a mess, our first and best excuse was to say, “it wasn’t me, it was somebody else.” And usually, the easiest target got the blame. Well, right now, the easiest way to shirk responsibility is to blame members of the previous government for the problems that exist.
Of course, this approach has been employed by all governments. When former President Hassan Rouhani took office, for almost two years, he blamed all the country’s problems on Ahmadinejad’s government, while Tehran’s new mayor also blamed the previous administration.
Those who are in power must know that people see through this worn-out charade, and they cannot trick people with these childish excuses. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that these officials, during their election campaigns, talked as if these problems would be solved all at once as soon as they took over. Did not one of the candidates who now holds an important position promise to solve the problems of the stock market in just three days? So, what happened?
Or did not Ebrahim Raisi promise to provide people with high-speed internet? Well, these days the internet speed is so slow that it is almost impossible to even send a simple picture.
Society and people are not blind or ignorant. They are constantly getting information, news, and analysis and they can clearly judge for themselves. The routinely employed approach of putting all the blame on previous officials and governments does not work any longer, and people will not be deceived by these excuses.
Stranger Than Fiction: Exporting BMW and Mercedes Parts!
The editorial of Akhbar Sanat on the recent claim of an MP about the export of auto parts to BMW and Mercedes, described it as mind boggling and insulting to Iranians’ intelligence.
Iranian officials do not seem to respect the people at all. They think that they are dealing with children and can do whatever they want with them. Here are two examples:
Ali Jedi, a member of Parliament’s Industry Commission, recently said that “currently we are exporting billions of dollars, and domestic manufacturers are exporting auto parts to foreign and European brands; even some companies from the private sector are exporting to countries like Germany and companies like Mercedes and BMW.”
On a different note, the shirtless image of the hero in the famous true story of the heroic farmer has been deleted from coursebooks and replaced with an image of someone wearing a T-shirt. But that farmer was shirtless for a reason: he had set fire to his shirt to save a train.
Now the question is: why do these officials say or do whatever comes into their minds?
This lawmaker must clearly announce which companies are exporting parts to Mercedes and BMW. How come these companies are not manufacturing high quality auto parts for the domestic market so that people do not have to spend their money and sacrifice their lives on Chinese auto parts?
How come no one has ever mentioned these companies so far? How come this is the first time that we are hearing from a lawmaker that Iranian companies are exporting to the most renowned auto companies in the world? It is as strange as saying that Iran is exporting aircraft parts to Boeing and Airbus!
Now stranger than this claim was censoring the image of the heroic farmer from coursebooks. How easily they censor a part of Iran’s history! The main story was that of the farmer who set fire to his shirt to save a train. Now what happens to the story? More importantly, what is wrong with portraying him shirtless in coursebooks?
With such measures, we are not doing justice to our national history, and people will start to think that the official history of our country has been embellished and distorted.
Those who make such decisions might imagine they are helping society, but they are actually insulting people’s intelligence.
Reza Pahlavi on Isfahan Crackdown: People Stood up to the Government’s Atrocities
In reaction to the violence unleashed by the Iranian government’s security forces against protesters in the city of Isfahan, Reza Pahlavi announced his support for the protestors in a tweet: “What we saw in Isfahan today was a reflection of the courage, unity, resistance, and determination to seek justice by the people and educated farmers in this province.”
Pahlavi added that people stood up to the atrocities and brutalities of the armed forces of the Iranian republic, showing to what extent the government is afraid of the people and is powerless against people’s power.
Protests were staged by farmers and a group of people in Isfahan in response to the water crisis in this province, to which the government reacted by deploying security forces and firing at people.
Protesters chanted slogans like “Death to Khamenei,” “Where is my Zayandeh Rud?” and “We won’t go back home until there is water in the river.”
During the Isfahan protests, at least 214 people were arrested and 30 people suffered eye injuries. Of those arrested, 13 were reportedly children.
Senior Iranian officials have not taken a position regarding the protests in Isfahan. But the commander of the special unit in Isfahan, who was in charge of countering the protesters, and some Isfahani lawmakers attributed the protests to the “enemy” and the “counter-revolutionaries.”
In the past, government officials have always blamed any popular protests on the so-called “enemy.”
Meanwhile, NetBlocks website which monitors internet disruptions and outages all over the world confirmed the decrease in access to the internet in some parts of Iran.
According to NetBlocks, recent disruptions and the decrease in internet speed has had a substantial impact on people’s access to the internet and is related to the protests against the water management policies of the Iranian government.
Following the protests against water management in Isfahan, the internet was disrupted or disconnected in other cities and provincial capitals including Ahvaz and Shahr-e Kurd.
Lawmaker: Fakhrizadeh Created a System for Nuclear Weapons
Ferydoun Abbasi Davani, lawmaker and former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said on the anniversary of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh that despite Ali Khamenei’s fatwa, which states that producing, having, and using nuclear weapons is “haram,” (prohibited) Fakhrizadeh had created a system for it.
Abbasi asserted that “our restraint regarding nuclear weapons in accordance with the supreme leader’s fatwa – which urges that nuclear weapons are haram – is quite clear, but Fakhrizadeh had created this system and he wasn’t just concerned about defending our own country. Because our country backs the “Resistance Front” and when you get involved in these issues, the Zionists become concerned.”
Two and a half years before the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the then prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu had mentioned his name and called him the “father of Iran’s nuclear bomb,” calling on the public to “remember this name.” In 2020, Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in a place close to Tehran.
The remarks of the former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran were made just two days before the talks for reviving the nuclear deal were resumed in Vienna.
By reviving the deal, Western countries seek to ensure that Iran will halt its nuclear weapons program. Iranian officials, on the other hand, intend to engage in the nuclear talks in order to lift the sanctions. Israel has said that it will disregard the nuclear deal with Iran and will continue its fight against Iran’s nuclear program.
In the meantime, the Spokesperson of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran Abulfazl Shekarchi, on the eve of resuming the nuclear talks in Vienna, reiterated threats against Israel, saying that Israel “will be wiped out and the world of Islam will celebrate that day.”
Shekarchi also criticized Bahrain and the UAE for normalizing relations with Israel, saying that the Iranian government will not tolerate Israel’s presence in the region.
More Than 100 Athletes Call for UN Probe of 1988 Executions
Along with Hamid Nouri’s trial in Sweden who is accused of participating in mass executions in the summer of 1988 in Iran, more than 100 Iranian athletes, in a letter to the UN secretary-general, have called for holding accountable Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi in this regard.
In this letter, the 1988 executions are called a “genocide and crime against humanity,” and the United Nations is called on to put current President Iranian Ebrahim Raisi on trial as one of those who “ordered this big crime and was involved in perpetrating it.”
Iranian athletes, including international and Olympic champions, have asked the UN secretary-general to refer the case of the 1988 massacre to the UN Security Council for accountability and for putting those who were involved in this massacre, particularly Ali Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi, on trial.
The signatories of the letter have written that a number of athletes and members of national teams were among the victims back then, and Forozan Abdi, member of the women’s national volleyball team, was also one of the victims who was executed after facing seven years of imprisonment.
Thousands of political prisoners in the 1980s, particularly in the summer of 1988, were executed on the direct orders of the then Supreme Leader Khomeini and the so-called “death committees” in Evin Prison and Gohardasht Prison in Tehran and prisons in Mashhad, Shiraz, Ahvaz, and other cities.
Because of the secrecy of the Iranian government, there are no accurate statistics regarding these executions, but according to an Amnesty International report, at least 4,482 men and women disappeared within two months back then.
Many of the victims were from MEK and a number of them were from leftist groups who had been imprisoned in the early 1980s.
The signatories of the letter urged that silence and not taking measures against genocide and crimes against humanity at the end of the 20th century only heightened the injustice suffered as a result of these crimes.
Air Pollution Emergency in Tehran: “No Decision Has Been Made” Lawmaker: If We Want Heat, We Must Put up With Air Pollution
A Health Ministry official announced that Tehran’s air is “very unhealthy” for people of all ages, saying that despite the announcement of an air pollution emergency by Shahid Beheshti Medical Science University, “no decision has been made to decrease the source of pollution and people’s exposure to it.”
Abbas Shahsavani, head of the Healthy Air and Climate Change Task Force in the Health Ministry, stated that Tehran’s air is so polluted that according to law, people are allowed to work from home, adding that classes can be held online so that the level of air pollutants decline, but no positive measures have been taken in this regard.
Shahsavani warned that under these circumstances, there will be a considerable upsurge in heart and lung diseases, as well as early deaths among patients and the elderly.
In the meantime, lawmaker Fereydoun Abbasi has said that if mazut is not used for producing electricity, 25 percent of the country will suffer from power outages, adding that “if we want heat and want to stay alive, we must put up with air pollution.”
Mazut is one of the most polluting fuels which causes severe air pollution in Iran. Mazut produced in Iran is substandard and has more than 3 percent of sulfur which is six times more than the international standard for fuel used by ships in oceans.
This winter, Iran is facing a shortage of 200 million cubic meters of gas per day, and according to the latest statistics of Iran’s National Oil Company, only one third of Iranian power plants receive natural gas and the rest use mazut and diesel.
Abbasi, who was the former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, has asked people to use less electricity so that the government can export diesel.