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The Catastrophe of Iran’s Groundwater Resources Will Take Thousands of Years To Overcome

A new comprehensive statistical study about the use of groundwater by Iran’s government has determined the situation of 30 basins in the country and concluded that from 2002 to 2015, more than 74 billion cubic meters of groundwater aquifers have been extracted in Iran.

This statistic is unprecedented, especially when considering that the total reservoirs of all dams in the country have a capacity of about 50 billion cubic meters. In other words, in the last 14 years, 22 billion cubic meters more than the capacity of all dam reservoirs have been extracted from the country’s underground sources.

This statistic shows that the government in Iran pays no attention to the ecological potential of the land, and the continuation of this trend has caused a very worrying phenomenon of land subsidence in the country.

 

Iran Groundwater depletion
Groundwater depletion (in km3) during 2002–2015 across major basins in Iran. In the outer circle, basins are ordered based on their total depletion in groundwater storage in km3 from the largest to the smallest. Shades of color show relative changes in groundwater storage in % during the study period (This figure is created using ArcGIS 10.8). (Source: Scientific Reports, Anthropogenic drought dominates groundwater depletion in Iran, Published on April 28, 2021)

Now Iran holds the record for ground subsidence on the planet. Land subsidence is a phenomenon that, when it occurs on a plain, turns the area into a dead plain and takes at least 50,000 years to regain resilience. It may take several thousand years to compensate for a 14-year catastrophe in Iran’s groundwater resources.

Therefore, the situation of Iran’s groundwater resources is very dangerous, and if this catastrophe is not addressed quickly, the future generations of this land may live on a dead land, thanks to the negligence of the current regime in Iran.

Mohamad Darvish, an environment expert, said about a solution for this catastrophe: “In the first place, the dependence of livelihoods on water and soil resources must be reduced and governments must move towards the extraction of clean energy, including wind and solar energy. In the Sixth Five-Year Plan, the government was required to provide 5,000 megawatts of electricity from new energy sources. If this important thing is done, the pressure on thermal power plants, which is one of the main factors of water consumption in our country, will be reduced.”

He added: “With the money generated from the sale of clean energy to the eastern neighbor, the water needed can be supplied from Helmand to alleviate the crisis that is now plaguing the east of the country; It is also necessary to provide conditions for the country’s specialized forces to move towards the production of secondary products and to prevent the sale of raw materials, which are highly water-intensive.”

Desperate about the government’s policies that have led to the destruction of Iran’s lands, he added: “There is a lot of potential for income and development in the country, and so to speak, not all eggs should be put in one basket; A country whose average rainfall is one-third of the global average and its rainfall from year to year may change up to 80 percent, should not look to the sky alone, and we should use strategies to reduce the dependence on water and soil resources.”

About the incompetence and wrong administration of the regime’s Ministry of Power, he added: “The first condition is that water management is based on the geomorphological and morphometric facts of catchments, but unfortunately this principle was not observed and for years they managed water based on political boundaries and regional water organizations were formed. This approach was very wrong.

“For example, Karsivand rivers are in one province, Fars province, and do not have the problem of catchment areas such as Zayandehrud, which is between Chaharmahal and Isfahan provinces, but the same catastrophe occurred there as in Zayandehrud, Lake Urmia and Khuzestan; Therefore, in order to realize the management of water basins, political will must have an ecological understanding.”

Iran Groundwater depletion

And the clerical establishment with an underdeveloped system lacks such a system. Finally in a recent article in the journal Nature, three Iranian researchers living in North America exposed the worrying condition of Iran’s groundwater resources.

Samaneh Ashraf, Ali Nazemi and Amir AghaKouchak, in an article published on April 28 in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’ published by the Nature Group, analyzed the situation of Iran’s groundwater aquifers over a 14-year period from 2002 to 2015 and wrote:

“The impact of depletion in Iran’s groundwater reserves is already manifested by extreme overdrafts in ~ 77% of Iran’s land area, a growing soil salinity across the entire country, and increasing frequency and extent of land subsidence in Iran’s planes. While meteorological/hydrological droughts act as triggers and intensify the rate of depletion in country-wide groundwater storage, basin-scale groundwater depletions in Iran are mainly caused by extensive human water withdrawals. We warn that continuation of unsustainable groundwater management in Iran can lead to potentially irreversible impacts on land and environment, threatening country’s water, food, socio-economic security.”

Bribery in Iran; From Fawn Sheep to Gold Coins

“Under the table”, “tea money”, “share of children” and “cookies” are expressions that are used by Iran’s government offices for “bribery.”

In the mullahs’ system, one of the most corrupt in the world, corruption and bribery is one of the main tools of its officials to loot and collect money and wealth from the people in quid pro quo for their demands from the government.

Before the mullahs took the power in Iran, bribery was considered a shameful and immoral act, and only a few were doing it in secrecy, and if one day their secret was revealed, they would be severely punished and could no longer continue their life as a normal person and were faced with the hatred of the people and became infamous. But now it has become part of a series of ordinary and extraordinarily ordinary acts.

In this way, many officials have acquired great wealth for themselves and their children and live the rest of their lives with complete well-being and affluence.

How the amount of bribe is determined for each task is a complex one in which several factors play. The degree of flexibility and bargaining power of the sides of the task. The financial situation of the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker, as well as the greed, need and risk-taking of the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker can be among the factors determining the sum of each bribe.

Major bribery figures reach up to one billion tomans. Contracts that are concluded for various services and projects or the purchase of goods required by the bureaucracy, and the payment of bribes affects the finalization of these contracts and on a large scale can lead to increased costs and lead to national losses and damages.

The use of valid foreign currencies such as the dollar and the euro are also common in the method of paying bribes in cash.

Among non-cash bribes, the use of gold coins (Bahar Azadi or Imami coins) is the most common method of paying bribes, and its amount starts from one gold coin and can reach 25 coins.

But in the non-cash method, bribery covers a wide range of items. In this method, anything from buying home appliances such as refrigerators to naming plots of land, donating sheep, buying an iPhone mobile phone, handmade carpets, and spices, and saffron, are common among non-cash bribes for advancing work in various departments and agencies.

Lack of social justice and unfair distribution of wealth is one of the psychological causes of bribery, which has become an unreachable desire.

To the extent that the health, integrity, and systemic and public oversight of the administrative hierarchy are reduced, and unhealthiness prevails, and the phenomenon of bribery is not dealt with decisively and legally, the possibility of bribery spreading to lower levels will be much greater.

Also, when a government pays no attention to development and progress of the country, we will automatically see a serious evasion of the law, and bribery will spread dramatically. So, the government in Iran has reached a stage that nothing can be achieved without lies.

A government that violates morality will destroy the country’s social and economic health. Social and economic inequalities create the phenomenon of welfare and consumerism in higher classes which are mostly the government officials and their relatives. With the rise of consumerism, when spending exceeds one’s income, so he/she is forced to solve his/her problems in any way.

On the other hand, when we see a person with mediation and brokerage passes one hundred years overnight without any education which in Iran is the mirror of all the officials and a professional who has worked hard for years and is still in financial trouble, this system automatically encourages people to resort to bribery.

Iran’s Government Destroys Life of Wheat Farmers

Adding to drought and water shortage, now the low guaranteed purchase price of wheat by the government has caused Iran’s wheat farmers in Fars province to no longer be able to continue farming. The staggering high prices of input and the low guaranteed purchase price of wheat (5000 tomans per kilo) by the government have destroyed the business of these farmers.

Fars province is one of the important centers of agricultural production, which in 2019, was ranked second in Iran in wheat and barley production.

This province with an area of ​​122,608 km and 36 cities has a variety of climates and this has led to diversity in the production of agricultural products in this province.

The current situation of agriculture in Fars is not good, low rainfall, astronomical prices of agricultural inputs and animal feed and the low guaranteed purchase price of wheat, which is announced at 5 thousand tomans per kilogram, has destroyed their production and lives so they are forced to sell their fields to ranchers, because of the current price of the wheat, they are even not able to pay the cultivation costs and will become losers.

A wheat farmer in the central part of Zarrin Dasht, Fars, in an interview with the state-run news agency Mehr, while complaining about the government’s action in setting a low guaranteed purchase price of wheat, said: “Why does the government not care about the agricultural sector? Does the current price meet the costs of the farmers?”

This rate is not appropriate with the staggering costs of production, because the farmers are stuck in all their costs.

This wheat farmer, while criticizing the government’s policies in pricing the guaranteed purchase of wheat, stated: “Is the answer to the slogan of supporting production that farmers are forced to feed their lush wheat fields to livestock to prevent further losses? These measures cause the instability of production and the lack of self-sufficiency of the country in the field of agricultural products.”

What should a farmer who has no way of earning a living and a rancher who cannot afford to buy animal feed do? Who is responsible for the situation of the farmers who are auctioning their products and the ranchers who sell their sheep on credit in the form of a one-year check due to their inability to buy animal feed?

All this is due to the exchange rate fluctuations, the cost of wheat production in the country has increased unbridled, to the point that, according to wheat farmers, the price of pesticides in the agricultural sector has increased nine times, the price of seeds and fertilizers has increased unprecedentedly. The cost of agricultural machinery and mechanization has also skyrocketed.

According to detailed studies, with the 9-fold increase in the price of phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers and the increase in transportation, collection, mechanization, and lack of liquidity in the hands of farmers, the final days of these hard-working strata has started.

As a result, more than 20 percent of farmers’ green wheat crops have been sold to ranchers for grazing, which is destroying the wheat supply of the country.

slide Iran farmers

Due to the low value of the Rial against the dollar, the price of wheat is more than 8,000 Tomans in neighbor countries, which certainly creates the ground for smuggling for the brokers of the government, mostly working for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

With the current population, the country needs 14 million tons of wheat per year, which means that the country can cover only about 50 percent of this amount, and the remaining 50 percent must be imported at an exorbitant price.

The Strategic Agricultural Products Pricing Council, which is responsible for determining the guaranteed purchase of agricultural products, including wheat, did not pay attention to this issue, and the government shirked from its responsibility and abandoned farmers alone with their problem.

It is predicted that this year Iran will face a serious problem to ensure food security (wheat), and if the government is indifferent to announcing the real price of wheat in the next crop year, Iran will face the problem of farmers not cultivating wheat, and an intensification in poverty and starvation of the society’s lower classes.

The Iran Budget Bill Scandal

Iran’s government often commits action that are so stupefacient and unique, that no one can believe them. And the truth about the corruption in this government are so bitter that no one can ignore them.

In recent days, one shocking news was the manipulation of the parliamentary approvals about the government’s annual budget, which was approved by the parliament.

The situation was so severe that numerous officials demanded the resignation of the parliament speaker Mohamad Bagher Ghalibaf and his gang inside this mafia organization in the regime.

Last year after the rejection of the main parts of the budget bill, this bill was returned to the government. After month of disputes and discussions between the government’s different factions finally it was approved with many changes, while in the budget bill they consider and transmit about 53 trillion tomans to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). So, the budget bill was approved, and the situation calmed down.

In a letter to the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani, Ghalibaf asked the government the desired and fundamental changes in favor of the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, and now it has become what the purpose of this demands was. Then it was notified to the government.

But as it becomes clear at the same time the manipulation of the budget bill started, so that what the regime’s gangs could not achieve from the footnotes of the budget and the law articles, in secrecy they started to gain their benefits with the manipulation of the spreadsheets and the numbers, to have enough money for their future plans, which are mainly in favor of the IRGC.

The Budget Consolidation Commission, chaired by Elias Naderan, a member of Ghalibaf’s gang, started this mess in regime’s parliament.

Ghalibaf and his entourage deliberately passed a bill that did not include the relevant tables so that they could manipulate it in secret.

“On the same day, March 16, it was stated that the members of the parliament, while voting on the final amendments to the single article, had warned against the non-submission of tables by the Joint Commission; However, this matter was not taken into consideration by the chair at the time of the meeting and caused the budget bill to be voted on without informing the deputies about the dimension of the tables and the amount (money) of the rows, especially in the expenses section.” (State-run daily Aftab, April 25, 2021)

“In a letter to the speaker, more than 100 lawmakers claimed that the figures in the budget tables and some notes had changed dramatically after the parliament passed the bill, calling it a new record in disobeying the bylaws and creating rent-seeking for several people. And asked for the action of the speaker of the parliament in this regard.” (State-run daily Iran, April 25, 2021)

The head of the Article 90 Commission also wrote in another message, that with the coordination of Ghalibaf, “extensive shifts in budget figures have taken place after public approval,” and with this, “large rents are given to certain groups.”

In another part of the letter of the members of the parliament, it is stated: “It is even more unfortunate that these tables have been changed many times until about a month later, that is, until April 10, and surprisingly, the tables have been announced in the parliament 25 days after the approval of the budget.

“And unfortunately, according to documentary news, these changes are not limited to the figures of the tables, but even include general changes in the notes and tables within them and corrections of paragraphs based on the demands of the Guardian Council, all by the chairman and one or two members.

“All this has been done by the chairman of the Joint Commission and one or two members of the commission and friends from outside the parliament without the knowledge of even the members of the Joint Commission.” (State-run daily Hamshahri, April 24, 2021)

As Mohammad Mohajeri, a member of Rouhani’s media team, has said, the changes made in the approvals of the parliament are about 200 cases. However, this decision has been notified to the government and is considered a done deal.

One of the state-run dailies related this scandal to two of Ghlibaf’s close people and wrote: “Jamaleddin Aberoumand, Assistant to the Speaker of the Parliament for Development and Progress and, Elias Naderan, the head of the Joint Commission, changed hundreds of billions of Tomans in the budget without informing the deputies.” (State-run daily Etemad, April 25, 2021)

Evidence shows that the government of Rouhani was not dissatisfied with the transfer of hidden funds in the budget approvals. And in short, the government’s program and budget organization were benefiting from this corruption too. Their silence after this scandal confirms this.

The JCPOA Offers No Economic Miracles

Iran’s officials thought that the change of government in the United States promised to change Iran’s economic outlook. Most analysts speculated that Joe Biden would return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal when he entered the White House, but this did not happen.

The process of a US return to JCPOA, like many optimistic predictions, did not happen, and now Iran’s government is grappling with its corrupted and dead economy.

The questions that form in the public mind are how much will the economic situation improve?

In July 1988, UN Security Council Resolution 598 was issued that brought about a ceasefire in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. The war that had put Iran’s economy in the worst possible condition came to an end, and the government’s efforts to accelerate economic recovery led to a sharp 66 percent drop in the value of the dollar, and many traders and currency holders whose businesses were tied to the dollar suffered huge losses overnight, so much so that the statistics of the suicide rate were horrific.

In the next agreement between Iran’s regime and the world powers in 2016, the dollar experienced a price reduction of about 15 percent.

Now the question is, which of the experienced patterns will occur in the forthcoming agreement?

The regime’s President Hassan Rouhani announced a few months ago that the dollar will reach 15,000 tomans by the end of 2020. He hoped for the release of the regime’s blocked financial resources in South Korea and Iraq, which did not happen so that the dollar would fluctuate slightly in the region of 24,000 and 25,000 tomans.

The government has also closed this year’s budget with the 11,500 tomans for each US dollar, and it seems that it has seen its optimistic forecast of the results of the lifting of sanctions in the budget. In fact, what the regime’s government intends is a reduction of more than fifty percent in the price of currency, which, although it strengthens the monetary base, but will repeat the tragedy of 1988.

At the end of 2019, Rouhani himself repeatedly invited people to invest in the stock market with great emphasis and unparalleled confidence.

After months of widespread protests against the government, and the people’s miff with parliamentary ballot boxes showed the people’s frustration with the government and a comprehensive invitation to the stock market, leaned desperate people watching their capital lost to the stock market.

The stock market codes increased one hundred percent and a huge amount of capital went to the securities market, and the indices of this market experienced a positive trend, sometimes incalculable, for a few months, then the stock market bubble burst and the indices began to fall and continue to do so.

The stock market continues its negative trend while the regime’s Minister of Economy and Finance recently admitted that the government has compensated its budget deficit by intervening in the stock market.

The capital market as well as Iran’s economy, however, has so far been indifferent to international developments and has continued to decline, regardless of the process taking place in Vienna, which was the hope of the regime.

In a report the regime’s Chamber Research Center wrote:

“Iran’s economy has weakened since US secondary sanctions were imposed due to declining oil exports and investment. In addition, the Covid-19 epidemic has disrupted activities. As a result, the rial will remain weak and inflation will remain high. If the sanctions are gradually lifted, Iran’s economic growth is projected at 4.3 percent in 2021 and 8.2 percent in 2022.”

In addition, Iran’s heavy dependence on hydrocarbons has put the regime’s economy in a very vulnerable position. There are other risks, including numerous trade barriers, monopolies, and legal bans on foreign participation in some areas, strict labor laws, extreme corruption within the regime, and weak rule of law, as well as the dominance of regime’s forces and individuals and officials in important industries such as banking that threaten economic stability. Iran’s operational risk index score has the bad score 42.8 out of 100, which ranks Iran 12th out of 18 Middle Eastern countries, higher than the major war-torn countries such as Yemen, Iraq, and Syria.

A weak banking sector, inefficiency of the legal environment as a challenge for foreign investment, and the strong presence of the government in the economy are among the weaknesses of the country’s economy. These weaknesses have caused the inflation crisis in Iran to continue, regardless of the international situation.

The conclusion is that the regime’s dreams about the JCPOA and changes in the economic situation are just illusions, while the main cause of this situation is not international sanctions, but corruption and theft by the regime, which has left Iran’s economy without a strong base.

Iran Media Warns That Infightings Could Mean Low Turnout at Election

The infighting amongst the Iranian factions is intensifying as the presidential election draws near and state media outlets are warning that these divisions could further push the people into protests that might bring down the entire system.

On Wednesday, the Etemad daily compared the elections to a tsunami, indicating that the authorities will not see the danger until it is too late and called on them to try and settle the waves to “avoid a political tsunami”. The paper then compared increased social hatred of the ruling system to water building up behind a dam, with the reservoir filled completely by election night, and then being destroyed soon after.

This should not be surprising. Over the past four years, the Iranian people have held three major protests that rejected the false hardliner/moderate dichotomy, chanting “reformists, hardliner, the game is over”, because there is no real difference between the two factions when it comes to oppression of and stealing from the people. Already, this led to the lowest turnout since the 1979 revolution in the last parliamentary elections.

Even the Sharq daily has admitted that so-called reformist candidates will fail in this election, rejecting Mostafa Tajzadeh’s claims that the current system can be changed through elections by stating that no president would be able to make those sweeping changes because the system itself prevents it, not least because Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei actually selects the candidates.

The paper acknowledged that the public’s expectations have increased and that revolution, rather than reform, is the only way to meet the demands of the people.

One thing is for sure, the mullahs’ disastrous policies have led to economic and social crises, which caused this restive atmosphere in the country.

The Arman daily wrote: “The economic pressure has infuriated the people. The government, instead of providing support packages, forgiving taxes and duties, and lowering the prices of basic goods, is seeking to raise taxes, making goods, electricity, and water more expensive. While people are under heavy economic pressure, organizations and economic complexes [are] above the law, which has been collecting property and assets under different names for four decades, do not pay taxes, do not audit. They are supposed to help the oppressed. But when and how?”

While Hamdeli warned that social consequences should be a bigger concern for a low turnout at the polls than political consequences, saying that people are frustrated with the situation and want to improve it.

Historic Decline in Iran’s Stock Market

The capital of 46 million Iranians has vanished

The stock market is gradually becoming a filthy gland in the Iranian economy. Last year, when the stock market index was turning green and buying queues were a hundred meters long, many experts warned that a price bubble was forming and the blow of it could cause many problems for Iran’s half-hearted economy.

Stock market lawyers who rejected any request even at the highest prices suddenly accepted any request at the lowest price and presented themselves as sellers to ignite the crisis in the stock market and making the situation worse than it was.

The stock index rose to 2.1 million units in August last year but is now limited to 1.1 million units. Iran Stock Exchange Index Now, after the retreat of one million units, which is the largest historic decline in the stock market in the last five decades, still has no intention of going green and there is no glimmer of hope to improve the situation or create stability in this market.

Studies show that if this trend continues, the stock market index may even retreat one million units more. Now every week shareholders are protesting and criticizing the government. Numerous rallies held in front of the organization and the stock exchange company are proof of this claim.

In an open letter to the heads of the three branches of power, the Association for the Development of Professional Investment announced:

“The current state of the economy and the capital market, as a full-fledged mirror of the economic situation of the country today, is in an unsuitable and very miserable condition.

“In the last year of the century (Persian calendar), which has been named ‘Production, Support and Removing Barriers’, let us remind once again that in the last few centuries, no official in the history of Iran has emphasized the issue of production and popular participation and the people’s economy.

“Despite this level of emphasis today, words such as production, investor and worker have become synonymous with poverty, misery and helplessness, and in contrast middleman ship and usury and rent-seeking have become synonymous with wealth and fame.”

The important point of this letter is the amount of damage inflicted on the Iranians. This analytical letter addressed to the leaders of the three branches added:

“The sharp drop in the market and the outflow of liquidity have seriously damaged the families of 46 million people in the stock market, so that almost half of Iranians lost 40% of their assets in the stock market and are now helpless and forlorn in the coronavirus crisis.

“They have blindly entered markets such as cryptocurrencies, which have undoubtedly led to the outflow of liquidity from the country, or in the currency and coin market, waiting for the collapse of the country’s economy, or in the real estate market, looking for future inflation. Really, can any country in the world consider itself indifferent to the loss of property and wealth of half of its people?”

Dissatisfaction with the capital market situation is now rampant among a significant part of the population. Never before has the capital market experienced such a collapse and such a degree of political intervention, and on the other hand there are more than 50 million stakeholders in the capital market.

The volume of money entering the stock market last year also showed itself to be on the increase in the issuance of transaction codes and consecutive records in the participation of initial public offerings, and statistics show that during the boom period of the stock exchange last year, 109 trillion tomans of money entered the stock exchange by the people.

The capital market is thirsty these days; thirsty for the billions of tomans that have flowed out of this market in the last eight or nine months or the confidence that seems unlikely to return to this market soon.

Estimates indicate that 50 million people are active in the market, but now, whether in Clubhouses, on the web, on the street, on public transport, or even at stakeholders’ protests, there is no hint of investor confidence in the market.

A look at the trend of the money exhaust from the market shows an intensification in recent days. On some days of April of this year, between 60 billion and 490 billion Tomans of liquidity were taken out of this market by individual entities.

Last Sunday, the outflow of real money from the stock market continued for the eighth consecutive day, and the value of the change from real to legal ownership of the market reached 528 billion tomans, which increased by 43 percent compared to Saturday.

A worrying trend that shows the non-confidence of small shareholders in the capital market. Right in such an atmosphere, there are contradictory rumors about injecting money into the market, but these promises have not been fulfilled yet. It was in mid-December last year that the CEO of the National Development Fund announced the injection of 2 trillion tomans to support the stock market until the end of 2020. But apparently this did not happen.

Women’s Participation in Politics, The Economy, and Education in Iran

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women held its 65th meeting in March with the theme of “women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life”.

With that in mind, we wanted to look at how this applies to Iran; a country ruled by a religious dictatorship that has relegated women to second-class citizens and spent 42 years enacting laws to strip them of their rights.

Well, the World Economic Forum ranked Iran above only the Congo, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen in its most recent report on the gender gap, which is unsurprising when you consider that the system in Iran is deliberately set up to marginalize women.

Women in politics

Despite the high numbers of women who enter and succeed in higher education, it should be shocking that their participation in politics is so low, but that’s what happens when there are so many barriers.

You cannot find a single woman in the highly influential roles of:

  • Supreme Leader
  • President
  • Vice President
  • Judiciary Chief
  • Expediency Council
  • Guardian Council
  • Friday prayers Imam
  • Press Secretary
  • Chief of staff
  • Provincial Governors
  • Provincial mayors

In fact, for the roles of Supreme Leader and President, Iranian law stipulates that the holder be a man.

But women’s participation in any of these positions would be “meaningless” according to the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) because they would not have the power to improve women’s lives.

In the 34-member cabinet, there are only two women present and they only hold consultancy positions rather than ministerships. Across all departments, there are only 24 female deputy ministers (5.5%)

The parliament has 16 women out of 276 members, which is a total of 5.7%, while there are only two female mayors out of 339 (0.58%). Further statistics on women’s participation at the lower levels of Iranian politics available here.

Women in economics

All of the 35 biggest banks in Iran are run by men, while there’s just one woman on the boards of directors of banks out of a total membership of 173. Meanwhile, only one of the top 104 companies in Iran is run by a woman.

Further down the economic scale, women are much less likely to be employed than men even before the pandemic, but thing got worse afterwards because women are also more likely to hold service-based and less-stable jobs.

Women’s in universities

Given the high graduation rate for women, it should be surprising that women are much less likely to end up in decision making positions at universities, but alas out of 123 public universities only two presidents are women, while out of 320 faculties only six have a female manager.

Us Passes House Resolution in Favour of Iranian People

The Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) held a press conference Tuesday on a resolution on Iran introduced to the House of Representatives.

H.Res. 118, which has 225 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, shows “support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran” and condemns the “violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government”.

It doesn’t mention the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) but does imply that US policy on Iran has for too long been focused almost exclusively on the nuclear program and should broaden its scope to include human rights and terrorism, as well as imposing sanctions for violations.

The resolution mentions the two nationwide protests in Iran in the past three years, which included sections of the mullahs’ base, highlighting how this was a rejection of the ruling system as a whole, with no distinction between the hardliner and moderate factions that are heavily promoted by Iran apologists.

It also says that the Iranian people are in line with the “ten-point plan” by opposition President Maryam Rajavi, which supports “the universal right to vote, free elections, and a market economy,” as well as advocating “gender, religious, and ethnic equality, a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence, and a non-nuclear Iran”.

The resolution cites two prior House resolutions; one about the human rights violations seen at recent protests and one about the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, which is one of the worst crimes against humanity since the Second World War. It further calls attention to the fact that the government is so desperate to destroy its opposition that it will even conduct terrorist activities in other countries, including the US and France. The 2018 Paris plot, which targeted a Free Iran rally, was recently the subject of a court trial that resulted in Iranian diplomat Assahdollah Assadi getting sentenced to 20 years in prison.

H.Res. 118 states that the US has not avoided these plots. In 2018, two Iranian nationals were arrested for spying on opposition activists with the intent of staging attacks, while the resolution also condemns “past and present Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks against United States citizens and officials”.

It urged the US to work with its allies to “hold Iran accountable [and] prevent the malign activities of the Iranian diplomatic missions, with the goal of closing them down”, as well as increasing pressure on Iran over domestic human rights abuses.

The resolution said that the US House of Representatives “stands with the people of Iran who are continuing to hold legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive and corrupt regime; and recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran”.

The Death of Books in Iran

After the mullahs took power in Iran in 1979, one of the main challenges of the country’s people became the culture, and the conflict of Iran’s very old and rich culture with the fundamental mullah’s culture.

From the outset, the rulers tried to destroy and change all the people’s traditions. The authorities started to destroy the Culture, Art, and Literature, and prevent any free thinking which is contrary to the mullahs’ thought.

One of the most pervasive and eloquent examples is the figure of millions brain drain from Iran. Another example is the breathtaking censorship of books and the press and, in parallel, the deprivation of writers and authors, subsequently, their killing. Especially in the serial killings of during a period from 1988-98, were many intellectuals who had been critical to this regime disappeared and were murdered.

The regime’s Ministry of Islamic Guidance main job is to censor and prevent any opposite script, speech, or picture. In Iran there exist no free and private outlet and TV or cinema, and all of them belong to the government.

However, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights said: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Per capita reading in Iran has reached 13 minutes a day – including reading newspapers and the Quran. According to UN experts, it will take a light year for Iran’s community to reach the lowest per capita reading rate of the European countries.

This dark situation has founded its way even to the publications and books of the government. And its outlets are describing the government’s publishers as “famous bankrupt capitalists.” And the book circulation in Iran has 300 books in a year.

The situation is so dramatic that one the of the state-run the Arman daily on April 20, 2021 in an article entitled, “Why is the blade of censorship becoming sharper?” wrote:

“For several months now, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has been cracking down on publishers’ books. Books are either unauthorized or so mutilate that the publisher refuses to publish them. Those publishers who have spent their entire lives and money publishing paper books have become known as bankrupt capitalists.”

Then speaking about the goals of this censorship it added: “Maybe with the victory of this sharp censorship’s blade, it is a favor to the ruling faction in the parliament and so on.”

Comparing this situation with Iran’s neighbors, the paper added: “The paper publishing industry in Iran is not as valuable to political agents as it is in Afghanistan and Iraq; because there is no book auditing and censorship in these countries.”

It can be seen that in Iran, the root of every political, economic, social, cultural, and artistic issue is the medieval thought of the mullahs’ rule. An anti-historical, anti-humanitarian and anti-Iranian thought of the Velayat-e Faqih (supreme religious rule).