Air pollution in the cold season becomes the subject of Iranian state media every year. A challenge that, according to the Ministry of Health, causes 40,000 to 45,000 premature deaths annually.
Statistics from Tehran Air Quality Control Company attribute most of Tehran’s air pollution to vehicle and motorcycle traffic.
The share has been declared above 50% in the past years. According to the latest published statistics, 70% of the particulate matter produced in Tehran comes from vehicles.
Of these, the share of personal passenger cars was 1.4%, taxis nearly 1%, minibusses 4.2%, motorbikes 10.5%, urban public buses 12.6%, private sector buses 18.2%, and heavy vehicles 22.4%.
These discussions are heating up in Tehran during the cold seasons of the year. When the phenomenon of air inversion occurs, and the capital of Iran hits new air pollution records in the world.
In the meantime, the Environmental Organization blames the Standard Organization and that it does not stop the production of non-standard vehicles, and the Standard Organization throws the ball in the carmakers’ court and the automakers pass it over to the Ministry of Oil.
This is because, for many years now, the Environmental Organization has announced that the production of non-standard vehicles must be stopped.
Cars that do not consume Euro 5 fuel are causing air pollution. The organization’s trustees have repeatedly criticized the standard organization for not giving in to the production of standard cars. They say the standard organization is not strict on automakers.
Iran’s Automakers which are under the control of the elements of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)do not pay attention to the country’s existing laws requiring them to produce cars with the Euro 5 standard, which has had an impact on the exacerbation of air pollution in the country’s cities, especially major cities.
In addition, in recent years, different policies have been adopted in the field of combating pollution, which most of them have not led to the reduction of air pollution which indicates that the regime’s government has no interest in the people health, a clear sign about the high number of lung cancer which is the leading death reason in Iran.
The Standard Organization also has its explanations in this regard. They say they have repeatedly announced to automakers the issue of stopping the production line of some types of vehicles, such as Pride, Peugeot 405, and Nissan, but automakers say the cost of car production has increased significantly, and that stopping production of the cheapest cars on the market will make the car market inaccessible to many Iranian customers.
Under these circumstances, automakers, who have strong lobbyists in the government and parliament, refuse to simply remove their cheapest and best-selling cars and easily ignore the health of the people.
On the other side, automakers pass the ball to the oil ministry’s, saying that Euro 5 gasoline production in Iran is done with very low volumes, and when Euro 5 fuel production is very low, therefore no one should expect the automakers to change or stop the production of their cars which are using Euro 4 fuel.
In this context, Abbas Kazemi, an adviser to Bijan Zanganeh, the former government’s oil minister, told 90 Economics, “all gasoline delivered to Tehran’s fuel supply stations since 2013 has been Euro 4 gasoline, and Tehran’s air pollution is due to increased carbon in the air.”
He emphasized: “In the five-year economic development plan, there is no mention of the distribution of Euro 4 gasoline to the metropolitan transport network, however, Euro 4 gasoline is shipped to all metropolises, and besides, Iran will not be capable of producing Euro 5 gasoline for the next 20 years because the refineries designed in the country are able only to produce Euro 4 gasoline.”
The problems of Euro 5 gasoline production come at a time when the quality of Euro 4 gasoline is also a serious ambiguity. In this context, there have been many reports about the lack of standard fuel quality used by vehicles.
The report on the quality of domestic and imported gasoline has been held classified, and the government did not agree to make it public.
The worst thing is that the regime’s oil ministry is defending its non-standard gasoline production and is rejecting any responsibility.
In response to the lack of standard fuel produced in the country, Hassan Rouhani’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, attributed the air pollution to automakers, saying:
“Fuel consumption in Nissan pickup trucks in the country is very high and currently the average fuel consumption in Nissan vans in the country is about 20 liters per 100 kilometers and these cars have been outdated in the world for years, but in Iran, they are still produced.”
Regardless of the escaping of the regime’s different organizations and institutions of their duties and making each other responsible for the air pollution, the truth is that the Iranian people are suffering and dying. And Iran’s cities rank among the most polluted cities in the world.