International media has reported on the effects of Iran’s terrorist activities and meddling across the region. It has, to a lesser extent, highlighted some of the regime’s human rights abuses. However, very little attention has been paid to the numerous environmental issues that the regime’s corruption is responsible for.
The environmental damage is, in many cases, proving to be irreversible and long-term.
Some of the devastation caused by the regime’s mismanagement includes air pollution problems (of which tens of thousands of Iranians die from every year) and the selling of the country’s soil – a way for the regime to enrichen itself while turning previously fertile areas into what can only be described as a desert.
As a result of the soil selling, in which other countries use the fertile Iranian soil to build artificial islands, the dust storm crisis in Iran is worsening. The drying up of four of the main five salt lakes in the country has also worsened the dust storm crisis.
The country’s wildlife population is rapidly decreasing with experts estimating that the reduction is as high as 90 per cent. Almost two-thirds of the country’s forests have been destroyed during the past 30 years and if it continues to happen at the same rate there will be no forests left in the next three decades.
Many people in Iran, and environmentalists – both inside and outside the country, have expressed their deep concern about the way the situation is heading. Activists are increasing their activity but they are met with resistance. A year ago, the country’s notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrested five environmental activists and left them in prison for nine months. They were charged with spying, and then later with “corruption on earth” – each charge as ridiculous as the other.
Just three months ago, environmentalist and lawyer Farshid Hakki died under suspicious circumstances. Sixty-four-year-old Iranian-Canadian professor and environmentalist Dr. Kavous Seyed Emami also died under suspicious circumstances while in custody at Tehran’s Evin Prison. There is no doubt in the minds of many that the claims made by prison officials that he died by suicide are false. It is certain that he was tortured to death, like so many inmates before him.
Just like the people of Iran know that their only chance of freedom, democracy and the respect of human rights is via the removal of the clerical regime, the same can be said for the environment. The serious environmental issues are rapidly declining because of the clerical regime’s mismanagement and the removal of the regime will provide the opportunity for a resolution.
The environmental issues directly affect the people of Iran who are losing their livelihoods and even their lives because of the regime’s corruption, neglect and mismanagement.