Following Iran’s controversial cases of the transfer of part of the Caspian Sea to the Russians, Chah Bahar port to the Indians, the assignment of the Damavand peak and the forest of Agh Mashhad, this time it is the turn of 42 wetlands that are to be transferred to the Ministry of Energy.

The news was shocking. “Forty-two wetlands are registered as the property of the Ministry of Energy.” Although there was also other shocking news on the transfer of other public and national wealth of the Iranian people to the regime’s officials or foreign countries, but these assignments will not reduce from the catastrophe of this case which is happening recently.

The story began since the state-run daily Iran on March 1, 2021 quoting Ghazal Jafari, Director General of the River Engineering Office, announced that “42 wetlands have been registered as the property of the Ministry of Energy.”

State media reported that the Ministry of Energy “is looking for the sale of dry beds of wetlands and rivers for a budget deficit due to reduced damming.”

Legalizing the plunder of national resources and wealth

According to materials 3, 9, 11, of the Cadastre law, which is approved in Iran in 2014, Iran’s Registration Organization of Documents and Property is required to regulate all-natural arenas, from the river, forest, lagoon, pond, etc. in the national cadastral system. Organizations who are responsible to protect these areas and determine the borders must announce these areas to the Registration Organization of Documents and Property, and this organization after these processes will issue the documentation for these natural arenas in the name of the main custodians listed in the law.

According to this law, all these measures should be done until the end of the sixth development plan, and the Ministry of Energy was determined to define the borders.

But what was suddenly revealed is that the Ministry of Energy intends to record these resources and natural arenas that are part of the country’s public wealth and whose trustee is another organization in its own name and naturally in the name of the government.

Until now, there are two important things. First, the trustees and the competent organization for the wetlands is not the Ministry of Energy, but the Organization of the Environment or Forestry. And second, the registration of an official document in name of the Ministry of Energy can give the government in the next step and in order to implement the policies of Article 44 of the law the free hand to sell these national resources to the private sector which in reality is in the hands of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), as Ghazal Jafari said that “we are seeking to sell it.”

The depths of the disaster occurs here and that this, according to what has been in line with the implementation of the principle 44 policies, in the next step, the Revolutionary Guards, due to its influence and domination, took these wealth, and Natural resources under the name of the privatization from the governments which are just a chaffy exterior view of the supreme leader’s rule.

Recently, the news by Saeed Mohammed, the former commander of the Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters of the IRGC, made headlines, based on that this base of the IRGC has decided, in exchange of what it owes from the government, to take part of the government’s companies and properties.

And the government, in practice, compensates for part of its current budget deficit, and the IRGC gets to own most of the country’s lands instead.

However, after this news was published and protests raised even within the government, Massoud Mansour, chairman of the Forests Organization, pastures and watershed on Saturday, March 7 announced that, “the wetlands cannot be assigned in any way, and about the Anzali wetland the decision is wrong, and the document of this wetland will soon return to the forest organization.” It remains to be seen if this land grab will stop or not?