Air pollution has now reached dangerous levels in Tehran and several other major Iranian cities, which health experts are predicting will increase the death rate six-fold, but the regime is, as always, failing to do anything to change the situation, as Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran writes.
In a statement, Maryam Rajavi warned that the mullahs’ unending quest for profit at any cost has meant that the regime will not put any limits on pollution sources or temporarily shut down the cities worst-affected by air pollution.
“On the one hand, the inhuman clerical regime squanders the Iranian people’s wealth on the unpatriotic nuclear, missile, and terrorism projects. On the other hand, it kills people through the consumption of fuel oil,” Maryam Rajavi said.
“The mullahs’ only concern is to preserve their regime. For them, the lives, health, and well-being of the people are worthless. As long as this regime is in power, there will be no attempt to buy vaccines, no clean air, and no solutions to contain the damage caused by floods and earthquakes,” the NCRI President-elect said.
She cited Environmental Protection Agency head Isa Kalantari as saying that Mazut and diesel pollution are increasing the coronavirus death toll to six times the national rate in the cities of Tehran, Karaj, Tabriz, Qom, Arak, Isfahan, Mashhad, and Qazvin, where pollution is so bad that it is considered “very unhealthy” for all age groups.
Kalantari argued that this made a case for not using Mazut in power plants, even if there’s a natural gas shortage, and noted that the burning of fuel by heavy industries violates the ‘Clean Air Act’ and is not approved by the COVID-19 Task Force.
In addition, Maryam Rajavi quoted Health Commission member Mohammad-Ali Mohseni-Bandpay, who called for air pollution to be taken seriously because it and coronavirus pose a real risk to people with lung disease. He urged Tehran to be locked down because of the dangerous levels of air pollution.
“The main cause of this dangerous air pollution is the consumption of Mazut (fuel oil or black oil) in power plants and major industries… [But] as usual, the regime is trying to put the blame for air pollution on the people and a result of traffic, a tactic used to justify its incompetence in dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak,” Maryam Rajavi said.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 11, 2021
This is a reference to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh’s comments on December 31, which fly in the face of testimony by experts that the cause for pollution is power plants and heavy industries, not vehicles. In fact, the COVID-19 curfew in Isfahan proves as much, with authorities forced to admit that “stationary pollutants and not mobile ones are the main cause of air pollution”, as well as that the relocation of polluting industries to just outside the city has not helped much.
“Instead of using fuel gas, the clerical regime has turned Mazut into the primary fuel for major and heavy industries and power plants, which are mainly under the control of the Revolutionary Guards and the institutions controlled by [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei‘s office. The fuel oil obtained during the refining of crude oil is the cheapest fuel, and by using it, the clerical regime makes huge profits that fills the coffers of the Revolutionary Guards and Khamenei,” Maryam Rajavi said.