The role of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in destroying the environment, is among the areas that the IRGC has destroyed in the last four decades.
In this article, the role of the IRGC in the destruction of the environment, forests, and pastures of the country is being briefly examined.
For more than four decades, the Revolutionary Guards’ domination on the country’s national resources, environment, forests, and pastures lead to the destruction of many of Iran’s resources. In the meantime, the Revolutionary Guards have killed many of their opponents in this area inside and outside the prison.
The areas of environmental degradation by the Revolutionary Guards are so extensive that just mentioning their titles is beyond the scope of a few articles.
Environmental pollution of the Persian Gulf is 47 times more compared to other free seas. Due to the presence of IRGC military barracks, excessive military maneuvers in these areas, and dumping of chemical waste in this sea. Construction of the garrison and headquarters of the Naval Command of the Revolutionary Guards in Sorkheh National Park and its wildlife sanctuary. The construction of a road by the IRGC in the wetland of Bojagh National Park in Gilan province and the destruction of the environment of this wetland are among these cases.
The forests have not escaped the looting and encroachment of the IRGC. Despite the fact that since 1962, the forests and pastures of Iran were declared national and about 120 million hectares of forests and pastures of the country were given to the government for national exploitation, but while the Velayat-e-Faqih government came to work and the domination of its Revolutionary Guards, the process of deforestation began.
According to the General Inspection Organization, 70% of the forests in Golestan province are owned by influential companies and institutions. For example, the 25th Karbala Division of the Revolutionary Guards has taken over 13,000 hectares of forests in this area and destroyed them by cutting down the trees in these forests.
In another example, for the construction of the Shafarood Dam in Gilan province, the Revolutionary Guards destroyed 93 hectares of the best Hyrcanian forests in the country.
In this destruction, the IRGC had pressured the Forest Organization to agree to this. It is important to note that this dam was built on the Shalmeh-Astara earthquake fault, which is in great danger of being destroyed by an earthquake.
Construction of a town for members of the Revolutionary Guards on 500 hectares of land in Lavasan, now known as Mahallati Town.
Deliberate burning of forests by the IRGC in the western regions of the country under the pretext of a “potential security threat” by the opposition or as a result of IRGC military operations such as fires in the forests of Marivan and Paveh in 2010.
Destruction of nearly 100,000 hectares of Zagros forests by the IRGC and other military organs of the government and construction of villas, barracks, organizational houses, and ammunition dumps in it.
Occupation of 10 hectares of the Naharkhoran forest in Gorgan for the construction of a special complex of the Revolutionary Guards in 2012, despite the ban on construction in it and at the expense of the provincial budget.
Construction of a museum by the IRGC with the destruction of the Tahlijan forest in Shahrekord.
More than 13,500 old oak trees were cut down in the “Dena” protected area in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad by the IRGC’s Khatam al-Anbia base to build a gas pipeline from Assaluyeh to the north and northwest of the country.
In addition to forests, the destruction of pastures is also part of the IRGC’s policy of extermination in Iran, which due to its large number just a few examples are counted here.
The drying up of vegetation in the Turani and Sahara Sandi areas along the Hoor al-Azim lagoon in Khuzestan for IRGC oil projects, regardless of its environmental consequences, which has caused soil storms and dust in recent years in the southwest of the country and many other casualties.
Holding military maneuvers in pastures and subsequent fires, such as the example of Paveh city in 2012, which led to the destruction of 50 hectares of pastures. Occupation of environmentally protected areas by the Revolutionary Guards, such as the Kuhsalan Protected Area in Kurdistan. Burial of nuclear waste in the foothills of Ardabil, Sahand and Sabalan areas and the Caspian Sea area is another clear example of the destruction of the country’s pastures by the IRGC.
Destruction of forests and pastures has a direct effect on land degradation and soil erosion. In this respect, Iran under the clerical rule is among the worst countries in the world. Ismail Kahram, one of the environmental activists of Iran, in 2012 had announced that in 2011 Iran was ranked first in soil erosion in the world.
The IRGC’s destructive policies in the field of environment, forests, and pastures have always been accompanied by resistance from the Iranian people. But the Revolutionary Guards have not hesitated to advance their goals of killing, arresting, repressing, and imprisoning environmental activists and foresters.
For example, Nasser Payrovi, head of the Masal Natural Resources Department (in Gilan province), was brutally murdered by IRGC Colonel Afrasiab Nasiri and Parviz Kazemi of the Revolutionary Guards in May 2005 for resisting the IRGC’s aggression and encroachment on the forests of his area of responsibility.
Dr. Kavous Seyed Emami, an environmental activist who opposed the IRGC’s destructive policies in the field of the country’s environment, was killed in Evin prison by IRGC intelligence, but the regime declared his cause of death as a suicide.