In September 2017, Iran’s newly appointed environmental official tweeted optimistically about his return from the West in order to solve Iran’s water crisis. But soon, Kaveh Madani lost his hope that he would be able to improve Iran, after he was arrested, interrogated, and subjected to a smear campaign by the very mullahs who hired him.
Madani, a Western-educated water expert, resigned his post in April after fleeing the country. He’d been falsely accused of spying on the Regime for the West, along with many environmentalists arrested in the first few weeks of 2018, and did not want to take any chances with the Regime’s corrupt judicial system.
He tweeted: “[I] fled from a country where virtual bullies push against science, knowledge and expertise and resort to conspiracy theories to find a scapegoat for all the problems because they know well that finding an enemy, spy or someone to blame is much easier than accepting responsibility and complicity in a problem.”
Of course, the real reason for Madani’s arrest is that he highlighted mismanagement in the Regime that was contributing to an “unprecedented” nationwide water shortage. He’s hardly the first Iranian official to warn of the dangers of the water crisis (i.e. mass displacement of civilians), but he was one of the only to address the fact that the Regime was making things worse.
He wrote in a scientific paper in 2014:“The government blames the current crisis on the changing climate, frequent droughts, and international sanctions, believing that water shortages are periodic, [but Iran has] failed to invest sufficiently into developing a resilient water management system.”
While the Iranian Regime was getting billions from the 2015 nuclear deal, they failed to invest it in something that would help its people (i.e. a water management system). Instead, they spent the money on interventionism in foreign conflicts, including helping Syrian dictator Bashar Assad stay in power, and supporting terrorist groups, like Hezbollah and Hamas.
That has long been the position of the Iranian Regime, to plunder wealth from its citizens and use the ill-gotten gains to export their bastardised version of Shiite Islam abroad in order to create chaos and allow the Regime to take control.
Another reason for Madani’s arrest is that he has strong ties to the West, having studied and worked in Europe and the US since 2000. Thus, they began to spy on him, arrested him briefly, and then accused him in the state-run press of being a spy.
Tzvi Kahn, a senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote: “At a time when nationwide protests – animated in part by the water crisis – continue to threaten the clerical regime’s viability, Tehran’s anti-Western paranoia has stymied its ability to enact the very measures that not only would help stabilize its grip on power, but also would ensure the country’s very survival. In the name of self-preservation, the government effectively sows the seeds of its own decline.”