Air pollution in Tehran and many other metropolises have made life difficult for people in Iran, especially in the coronavirus conditions where people, especially patients, need to breathe more outdoors.
In the recent crisis of air pollution, patients are the first people whose lives are endangered by breathing polluted air. In metropolitan cities, the air pollution situation is such that there are few people who are not exposed to it.
To reduce the effects of air pollution, experts recommend consuming dairy products and fruits, but with their skyrocketing prices in the past few months, their preparation has become virtually impossible for many Iranians.
The air pollution situation is so critical that an environmental expert considered the casualties worse than the coronavirus, and in this regard, Ebtekar daily wrote on January 3: “The issue of using diesel fuel in power plants has made breathing conditions so difficult that now it threatens people.
“Experts have always stressed that the problem of air pollution is much more dangerous than the problem of the coronavirus, a virus that has spread around the world with less than two million deaths today, but air pollution causes seven million premature deaths worldwide each year.”
Endangering people’s health due to air pollution is severe that Majid Farahani, a member of Tehran’s City Council, acknowledged: “Air pollution has reduced the life expectancy of Tehran residents by an average of five years, and the number of air pollution deaths are equivalent to a giant Airbus crashing in Tehran every week, and we (the government) do not care!” Fars news agency wrote on September 9, 2018.
Experts and the state media agree that the cause of air pollution is due to fuel oil for power plants, workshops, manufacturing plants, petrochemicals, steel mills, etc.
In this regard, Arman daily wrote on January 3: “Some 15 million liters of fuel oil have taken people’s breath away.”
In justifying this crime against the people and their health, Issa Kalantari, head of the Environmental Protection Organization, said: “Refineries are currently full of fuel oil, and no one buys them due to international sanctions, so we have to use fuel oil in some places,” the daily added.
An environmental expert accused Rouhani government officials, including Kalantari, of lying, saying: “Officials have pursued a policy of lies, and we all know that the country’s power plants and industries are burning fuel oil. The reason for this is very clear. Until a few years ago, Iran sold 15 billion liters of fuel oil to the UAE,” Arman continued.
In the current situation where Tehran and many metropolises are suffering from severe air pollution, the temporary solution to reduce air pollution is to close the metropolises, but the government refuses to do so because they do not want to pay such a price.
According to the report of Tasnim news agency, Abdulreza Rahmani Fazli, the interior minister, in response to a request by many people regarding the closure of Tehran, said: “No decision has been made for the closure,” Tasnim wrote on January 3.
In addition to the people, government environmental experts also recommend that Tehran and the polluted metropolises be closed for at least a few days to reduce the burden of air pollution.
In the winter, the smoke and polluting gases of power plants, after being released into the air, return to the ground due to the cold weather and cause air pollution.
Regarding the reason why the Rouhani government did not close Tehran and the polluted metropolises, Fazli added: “We have to manage the situation with the least cost.”
Wasting Important Resources for Reducing Air Pollution on Regional Interferes
Iran’s government claims that it does not have the necessary budget to carry out the measures due to sanctions, but sanctions and lack of funding are a trivial excuse to which this establishment and Hassan Rouhani’s government resort.
Because when it comes to inciting war in the region, they waste the people’s wealth freely, and sanctions are not an obstacle.
Mahmoud Chaharbaghi, one of the leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), while saying a memory about the dead Quds force commander Qassem Soleimani, said: “The Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] told Sardar Soleimani to go and protect Bashar al-Assad. General Soleimani’s mission was to prevent the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria,” State TV Channel One aired Chaharbaghi’s remarks on January 2.
It is natural that the maintenance of Bashar al-Assad is not without massive costs for the Iranian people, and billions of dollars of Iranian wealth have been spent on it.
Mohammad Reza Naghdi in charge of coordinating the IRGC admitted that they had spent nearly $17 billion on all expenses related to diplomacy, culture, defense, and security in Syria.
Certainly $17 billion is an underestimation. On May 20, 2020, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the former head of the Security Committee of Iran’s parliament, said that $30 billion had been spent in Syria.
This is at a time when the cost of solving the problem of air pollution is much less than the money spent in the region over the years.
The solution that the government has devised to solve the air pollution crisis is nothing but lies. Massoud Tajrishi, the government deputy environment minister, said: “There is no will to eliminate air pollution in Tehran,” wrote Setareh-e-Sobh daily on January 3.