Saturday, September 19, 2020

Islamic Republic: Dystopia Of Salvation

Islamic Republic has turned Iran, one of the richest countries in the world, into a place where kids contemplate committing suicide and elites run away for a better life.

June 8, a veteran of Iran-Iraq war, self-immolates himself in front of “Martyrs Foundation” in Kermanshah by setting himself on fire. The foundation is established to take care of veterans and their families’ problems. According to reports, Jahangir Azadi who was wounded from the head in the war, had been struggling financially and had applied for a loan from the foundation, but never received it.

Omran Roshani Moghadam (Mohammadi Roshan), was a security staff at Azadegan Oil field No.19 in Hoveyzeh, Khuzestan. He committed suicide on June 10, by hanging himself on the oil field. According to social media activists, he called the contractor right before, saying, “I don’t have anything left for my family. I can’t even afford bread anymore.” The contractor later denied that he’s ever made such a call or they had denied his loan application for about $100.

Armin’s “financial aid” card.

Armin, an 11-year-old from Kermanshah whose death has shaken up many on social media. He was one of the many child workers in Iran. He would clean cars’ windshields and go through dumpsters to find something to eat. His family live in a shack or on the streets, depending on their situation. A nonprofit organization confirms the family don’t have food to eat most of the times. The situation got worse, when Armin’s mom was diagnosed with cancer and died in the hospital. Her body wasn’t released because of unpaid bills. She had left Armin’s birth certificate and some other documents as assurity to receive treatment at the hospital. Few days later, Armin’s corpse arrived at that same hospital. Apparently, he had taken methadone pills, for whatever reason. His birth certificate had gotten lost in the hospital. His body got released a week later, after all the noise social media users created and mourned his death.

Iran is one of the richest countries in the world, in terms of natural resources and workforce. Iran has the second largest natural gas reserves, with more than 33,899 billion cubic meter discovered and estimated to be close to 18% of world’s total reserves. It also holds the fourth place for oil reserves in the world. Its discovered oil reserves are estimated to be worth more than $10 trillion. It is ranked among the 15 mineral-rich countries in the world with more than 68 minerals’ deposits across the country. The second lode of copper ores in the world is in Kerman province (5% of the world). Other major minerals in Iran include zinc, iron, uranium and lead. With a population of almost 83,000,000, the country has about 7% of world’s minerals. Agricultural products such as rice, saffron and pistachio are other gold mines of the country. Let’s not forget the history and cultural sites which has the potential to make a lot of people a lot of money!

Zeynab’s house in Ilam.

However, the most important Iran’s wealth is its young, educated, talented and elite workforce. According to the latest census, 65% of the population are below 65 years old. Unfortunately though, the majority of them would choose to live in and work for a free, nonjudgmental, and corrupt-free government. From athletes with world medals to scientists and researchers try to escape the cage Islamic Republic has created for them and move where they’re treated properly and can move up the ladder based on merit not connections! The last case was Ghazal Hakimifard, a chess grand master and a former member of National Women’s Chess Team, who chose to play for Switzerland from now on.

December 2013, Babak Zanjani was arrested. Investigations showed he had embezzled more than $4billion from Oil Ministry alone. He used government connections to circumvent the US sanctions to sell oil for Islamic Republic and in between stole billions of dollars. He hasn’t returned any of the money he’s owed as of yet!

In 2015, the Oil Minister announced some oil rings have gone missing and despite full payment for them, they’ve never arrived in the country. The total worth of these two rings is more than $124million. It led to son of a former minister being arrested but then released on bail! The case is still being investigated after close to 5 years.

In the same year, it was revealed that close to 400 people working at different levels of the government were being paid astronomical salaries each month, something between 20 and 50 MILLION Tomans. Many were forced to resign.

Her clothes were so old and full of holes that she burned them before killing herself, so nobody would have to see them

Akbar Tabari, former deputy chief of Judiciary during Shahroudi and Larijani ruling the whole Justice system in the country, is the main defendant in the biggest corruption case in the country’s history. The case has become known by his name and the full aspects of it is unknown. He’s been bribed to take care of different cases in the Judiciary department. One of his charges is bribing 500,000 EURO to another judge/prosecutor named Gholamreza Mansouri, who was arrested in Romania on June 13, 2020. Akbar Tabari was relieved of his duties as soon as Ebrahim Raisi was appointed the new Chief of Justice and was arrested by IRGC Intelligence agents in July 2018.

Zeynab, 11 years old fifth grader committed suicide in Halilan, Ilam. She was one of 5 kids in a household which its head was disabled from one hand and unemployed. The family of 7 would receive 2,450,000 Toman (about $137) every month as disability check. The whole family live in a 540 square feet room, which doesn’t have a roof, because they couldn’t afford to finish it. They have a fire pit in the room to keep them warm in brutal Ilam’s winters, when there is a gas pipe passing by the village. There is no landline, cellphone service or proper roads in the area. Her clothes were so old and full of holes that she burned them before killing herself, so nobody would have to see them.


Cover: Ramin Labischeh

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