Life in Iran TodayIran’s Government Fears a ‘Second Field’

Iran’s Government Fears a ‘Second Field’

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Social exclusion is the process in which individuals are blocked from the various rights, opportunities and resources that are normally available to members of a different group, and which are fundamental to social integration and observance of human rights within that particular group, like housing, employment, healthcare, civic engagement, and democratic participation.

The outcome of social exclusion is that affected individuals or communities are prevented from participating fully in the economic, social, and political life of the society in which they live.

In Iran this has become an extreme disaster and a ticking bomb. The expansion of this is directly related to the increase in land, housing and rent prices in the country.

Marginalization in Iran grew greatly due to the imbalance of urban areas. The lack of balance in urban areas leads to the polarization of cities. When rising prices in real estate and other living essentials occur, people move to the marginal points of large cities, due to their financial capability, so that the opportunity of a living for this people is not eliminated. The marginalization in Iran faces the least number of services and infrastructure.

Marginalization is very common in metropolitan areas and the population of marginalized people in Iran is very high. Lack of water resources, living along rivers, successive droughts, natural disasters, floods and earthquakes, the destruction of homes, lack of security, especially in border cities, are some of the reasons for migrating to booming cities. But the most important reason is the government’s corruption and mismanagement of the country, which has thrown more than half of the population under the poverty line. Living facilities on the outskirts of Iran are very scarce and in a deplorable state.

In an interview published by the state-run website Faraz News, the Managing Director of Welfare, Services and Social Participation Organization of Tehran Municipality about the situation in Tehran and around this city said:

“The root of many social harms is migration to big cities, especially Tehran.”

In this article, Vali Ismaili the deputy chairman of the parliament’s social commission said: “Certainly, the lack of facilities and the lack of unbalanced growth and development has led to the marginalization of provincial capitals today, especially Tehran, and the current policy cannot answer these problems. Marginalization does not have good result, and the result of marginalization is the problems that we refer to them as social harms.”

Seyed Malek Hosseini, Managing Director of the Welfare, Services and Social Participation Organization of Tehran Municipality, said: “The gap created is not only in this city and we should know that there is a gap between the center and the periphery in other provinces between the center of the province and the surrounding cities too, but this difference is much greater due to the imbalance of Tehran’s population with the size of the area to live.”

He added: “Interestingly is that five percent of the residential area of ​​Tehran is in a dilapidated area, and in this five percent, more than 15 percent of its population live there, which means more than 1.2 million people. And the facilities are not well distributed. And we certainly have certain problems in the field of social harms.”

Hosseini about the municipality’s budget said that they are not receiving any budget from the government and said: “We have a serious legal challenge that decision-makers and legislators must address.”

Finally, he warned the government: “If the immigration problem is not solved, it seems that we are ready to contain the broken dam with a bucket in hand, which is not an answer.” (Faraz News, May 2, 2021)

In another article published by the state-run website Shoma News written by Ali Heydari, Member and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Social Security Organization, about the latest events around the newly-revealed audio tape of Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, aiming and speaking about the two expressions “Field” (Strategical action outside the country) and “Diplomacy” (Foreign affairs) he warned the government that this should not be the only one concern, and there is a more serious and worried concern which he called a “second field” (the society) and added:

“It is very clear that poverty (food, education, insurance, housing, etc.) and inequality or even feeling them, unemployment, social harm, lack of minimum living, inability to meet basic needs, severe decline in purchasing power, etc. can affect the roles and functions of government and diplomacy and the field. However, when the executive forces (the executive branch and the collective heads of diplomacy) and the military forces (the field) face and fight outside the borders, they should be secure from their back and behind the front.

“Lack of a comprehensive and multi-layered centralized system of social security and failure to meet the basic needs of people in general and target groups and strata in particular, and especially uncertainty about the future and the fate of livelihood, health etc. the head of family and individuals under his tutelage, he can create the ground for special and occasional recruitment of enemies inside the country, which leads to espionage, sabotage, security leaks, etc., and on a more general level, it can lead to public recruitment by enemies and decreased social capital and social trust or lead to protests, riots and social unrest.”

“What has happened in practice, despite the fact that in the past, different governments have not been able to achieve full success in fulfilling this inherent duty and legal mission, and unfortunately the problem of poverty, inequality, social harm, social anomalies, unemployment, educational poverty (deprivation of education), residential poverty (lack of adequate real estate or rented housing), food poverty and malnutrition, insurance poverty (lack of basic insurance coverage for pensions and unemployment, etc.) have not been eradicated in the country and sometimes we are facing obvious and gross poverty.”

Warning about the marginalization and ticking areas around the cities which according to him number around 2020 regions in Iran, he added:

“This shortcoming which means not eradicating poverty, inequality, deprivation and social harm in certain neighborhoods of cities, and regions that during different periods and from different perspectives and according to the view of the executive body which prepares the reports are recognized under different titles such as slums, deprived, marginalized, informal settlements, vulnerable, high-risk, out-of-bounds, worn-out area, historical area, etc., which in any case, the obvious feature of these neighborhoods is the occurrence of severe figures of poverty and harm, and they are a source for the harmed people and, unfortunately, the gathering of mighty and poor and the downtrodden, harmed people who are scattered in such neighborhoods, many residents over the are trapped in poverty and harm, and more tragically, poverty and harm in these families become generational and cyclical, and we experience a cycle of regression of fall to lower levels.” (Shoma News, May 3, 2021)

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