By Mahmoud Hakamian
On March 17, heavy rainfall in the north of Iran caused the provinces of Golestan, Mazandaran, Northern Khorasan, and Semnan to flood, which resulted in hundreds of deaths, as well as thousands of people being injured, made homeless, or suffering other losses.
These people have received no help from the Regime. The Regime governors had not even made their way to these cities to see the affected people. In fact, the governor of Gulistan, Manaf Hashemi, actually left the country shortly after the flood with permission from the Interior Minister. While one of the Revolutionary Guards commanders who showed up to take pictures of the disaster, while offering no help, was thrown out.
The Regime is desperate to downplay the floods and hide their pitiful policies regarding natural disasters, even though there was already significant flood damage in six provinces in February and meteorologists warned that the 20 provinces hit this time would be next.
The deputy director of the Iranian Environmental Protection Agency said that Iran has 16 million tons of soil erosion each year, which is between two and three times the global average. This makes flooding, mudslides, and other disasters more likely.
Floods can be prepared for through placing flood barriers around population centres or evacuating areas, but can also be prevented through careful environmental management, like restoring forests, dredging rivers and lakes, and constructing flood channels. However, this all costs money; money that the Regime has diverted towards the suppressive security forces or the religious organisations in budgets over the years, depleting the resources for the disaster prevention and relief agencies to nearly nothing. If even a fraction of the suppressive forces’ budget was used to help prevent disasters, then we would not be in this situation.
The US State Department said: “Iran is on the brink of environmental catastrophe. Iran’s corrupt leaders have gravely mismanaged Iran’s water resources for 40 years, lining their pockets on useless projects instead of serving the interests of its citizens. Iranian people deserve better.”
The Regime would rather spend money to suppress the Iranian people, rather than deal with the problems that cause them to want to rise up against the mullahs. Thus creating more dissent and more repression.
Currently, there are still some villages in the provinces of Golestan, North Khorasan, Mazandaran, and Semnan that remain submerged in water, with many communication routes blocked and much livestock dead. The Regime has tried to claim that there have only been 44 deaths, but the reality is that there are at least 120 dead in Shiraz alone.
It is clear that the Iranian Regime will always fail to solve these problems, sot the only answer is regime change by the people of Iran.