Stunning images of floods devastation and the sinking of the Jarahi town in Mahshahr, south-western Iran, should never be considered a natural event. Such incidents, with this volume of destruction of the foundations of bio-nature, can be considered a natural event when all measures of prevention and care and climatic attention have been taken until then such catastrophes seem inevitable.
The news and images of the devastating floods damage to the people, along with the cries and pleas for help of the homeless people, hurt the soul of every observer. According to Mehdi Valipour, head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society for Rescue and Relief, ‘eight provinces have been flooded in the past 72 hours.’
“The houses of Ahvaz and Mahshahr are flooded and no one cares. This repetitive series happens every year. It is not known how these credits have been spent, otherwise, areas with sewage problems and water collect in it are clear,” the state-run daily Resalat quoted Sirous Davoodi, representative of non-governmental organizations in Khuzestan province, as saying.
“These losses are due to the uncertainty of how the World Bank loan is spent,” Resalat quoted Hajir Kiani, Secretary of the Khuzestan Association of Nature and Environment Lovers, as saying.
The idea that a flood or an earthquake or any natural disaster can pass through a mafia tunnel and suddenly find meaning and function other than a natural disaster is, of course, far from the mind; but there is evidence that floods in the Islamic Republic have become a mafia phenomenon.
Such a mafia phenomenon has become so widespread that it has manifested itself in a report in a state-run daily.
Following the devastating floods that have turned the city of Jarahi in Mahshahr county into a war-torn and devastated city, Resalat daily published an article that revealed one aspect of the state-backed financial mafia in Iran.
In its December 1 edition, Resalat acknowledged the arrival of the World Bank to help ‘improve water and sewage’ in several cities in Iran. But the World Bank loan’s fate is now unclear, according to the daily. Apparently, it has suffered an ‘unknown fate.’
“It is not clear how and where the large budgets that flowed into the water and sanitation sector were spent. In 2004, a $149-million loan was allocated by the World Bank to rehabilitate and complete water and sewage in the cities of Ahvaz, Shiraz, Babol, and Sari. To date, however, there has been no written report on how it was allocated, and it appears to have met with an unknown fate.”
The daily then quoted the official news agency IRNA as saying in an interview with Darvish Ali Karimi, former CEO of Ahwaz Water and Sewerage:
“A $150-million-conditional loan was provided by the World Bank: with 10,000 rials for each dollar in 2004. This money could have turned the city of Ahvaz upside down in terms of water and sewage conditions. It was a five-year commitment.”
In the meantime, the managing director of Ahvaz Water and Sewerage is replaced, and a person named Habibollah Moradi replaced Darvish Ali Karimi.
What needs to be determined is the fate of the World Bank’s $150-million loan for Ahwaz Water and Sewerage. Moradi attributed the fate of the World Bank loan to U.S. sanctions, while from 2004 to 2009, which was the end of the project implementing commitment, there were no sanctions at all.
“Two years and five or six months elapsed from the loan period, and then the sanctions canceled the World Bank projects,” Moradi said.
The plundering by the financial mafia is so obvious that even Resalat daily cannot deny the contradiction.
“The effective date of this loan is November 16, 2004, and the expiration date of the loan is October 1, 2009. Matching the loan execution and expiration dates with the claims about the fate of this money is in conflict,” the daily wrote.
“The first is that the expiration date of this loan does not overlap with the time of imposition of sanctions, and the second is that the loan has been allocated and there is no report on the allocation of ‘part’ of this loan in the World Bank statistics,” the daily revealed.