Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Jan. 1, 2019 - On Tuesday, December 25, 2018, a bus carrying students from the Science and Research unit of Tehran’s Azad University veered off a steep, mountainous road and crashed into a cement block, causing the death of 10 passengers and injuring 28 others.
This was an incident that could’ve been avoided, had the Iranian regime provided its universities with better vehicles and maintenance services. The Azad University incident is not a one-off incident. It’s the manifestation of the awful state of Iran’s roads as well as the substandard equipment of its universities, both the result of four decades of corruption and mismanagement at the highest levels of power in the mullahs’ regime.
In October, Iran’s Channel One television reported, “According to statistics, there have been 7,000 road casualties since the beginning of the year.”
Despite warnings, Iranian authorities haven’t taken any measure to improve road conditions and reduce the rates of accidents in the country’s roads.
Iran’s road casualty rate is 25 times more than Japan and twice that of Turkey. Even the UK, which has three times more cars on its roads than Iran, has up to 32 times less accidents on its roads.
Problems such as lack of vehicle maintenance and poor road conditions are among the main factors that cause road accidents. According to Iranian experts, the number of deaths on Iran’s roads have already exceeded the casualties of the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq.
Iranian officials and media lay the blame on the people. In September, a state-run television channel claimed, “According to police, exhaustion, dizziness, speed driving and illegal overtaking are among the main reasons for high accident rates.”
Police officials are trying to frame drivers as the culprits and intentionally ignore vehicle and road conditions, which are two very important elements in causing or preventing accidents.
Iran’s roads conform to no international standard. In this regard, an Iranian official admitted, “3,400 locations outside Iran’s cities and 2,000 locations inside cities are prone to causing accidents. Overall, we have around 4,500 accident-prone locations.”
Old, dangerous roads and unsafe vehicles
Most of the roads of Iran are showing wear and tear and haven’t been tended too. They’re also non-standard and dangerous. Meanwhile, unsafe and unmaintained cars are another element that contributes to high accident rates.
Iranian vehicle manufacturing companies are producing unsafe cars that have little safeguards to protect their passengers in road accidents. According to Iranian regime officials, 52 percent of road fatalities in the country involve Pride or Peugeot cars being manufactured inside Iran.
Pride has become infamously known as the "moving casket."
In an accident between a Pride vehicle and a camel, the passengers of the vehicle died but the camel survived.
How the Iranian regime’s institutions are causing an increase in road accidents
The main reason behind the high fatality rates in Iran’s roads is nothing but the corruption at the highest levels of power in the Iranian regime. Iranian officials and their affiliated companies and organizations are in control of the country’s wealth, but they refrain from allocating the minimum required amount to construction projects, and they spend most of the country’s construction budget on the needs of the Khatam al-Anbia industrial complex, which is owned by the Revolutionary Guards, and the Astan-e Quds Foundation, a so-called charity foundation that is making regime authorities wealthy out of the pockets of the Iranian people.
Every day, the budget of the IRGC and its affiliated organizations increase. Meanwhile, the vital infrastructures of Iran’s roads continue to decay.
In respect to the role of the IRGC and Astan-e Quds, in a July interview with state-run IRNA news agency, the president of the Association of Construction Investment Companies said since IRGC-related companies entered road construction projects, 90 percent of private sector companies have stopped functioning or have lost their capacity.
Companies backed by regime-owned institutions use their leverage and ties in the power structure to eliminate smaller companies and steal from the budgets of construction projects for their own purposes.
Road fatalities, including the tragic demise of the students of Azad University, are just another result of the organized crime and corruption that has become the common trait of everything that is tied to and run by the Iranian regime.