Report & Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, June 2, 2019 - During the course of 23 days in Iran, unfortunately, 31 individuals have been killed and 71 others injured due to floods, thunderstorms, and lightning, according to the regime’s Emergency Organization spokesperson. These incidents took place across 17 of Iran’s 31 provinces.
“From May 8 to the 31st, 31 individuals lost their lives and 71 were injured due to severe weather conditions, including floods, thunderstorms, and lightning. These incidents took place in the provinces of Ardabil, East and West Azerbaijan, Zanjan, Khorasan Razavi, South Khorasan, Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Fars, Khuzestan, Kerman, Lorestan, Markazi (Central), Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmed, and Gilan,” Mojtaba Khaledi said.
“Floods resulted in six deaths and 12 injuries. Lightning killed 25 and left 39 injured. Thunderstorms resulted in 20 injuries, all in a variety of provinces,” he added.
Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), sent a message on the shattering floods and thunderstorms taking so many victims and leaving behind large areas of devastation.
“Once again, devastating floods and storms have damaged vast parts of Iran, leaving behind dozens of victims and thousands of people homeless. My sincerest condolences to the survivors, and my best wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured. I urge everyone to form popular councils and independently rush to the aid of the victims.
“The clerical regime does nothing but preserving their own rule. Rush to the aid of the flood victims in Ardabil, Azerbaijan, Zanjan, Khorasan, Charmahal Bakhtiari, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Lorestan, Fars, Khuzestan, Markazi, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, and Gilan. By plundering the people, destroying nature, and wasting the national wealth on warmongering, the mullahs have left #Iran defenseless in the face of natural disasters.
“The mullahs’ rule has made the people of Iran mourn every day because of some natural disaster. Floods, earthquakes, fires, and many predictable and preventable accidents turn into disaster every day because the mullahs have ruined the country’s infrastructures. Our nation has been overwhelmed and devastated by floods but their spirits to rise up and rebel against the mullahs are high and they remain resolved and determined,” Mrs. Rajavi said.
Flash floods overtook Iran's provinces including Golestan and Mazandaran provinces in March 2019.
At the cusp of the Iranian New Year celebrations, Golestan and Mazandaran provinces faced one of the worst floods in their history.
The flood started after two days of heavy rainfall. According to the government stats, over 9 people were killed, including 2 children. More than 10,000 houses were caught in the floods; 70 communicative roads were cut off, and 23,000 people were trapped in the floods.
"The damage to the agricultural sector is estimated at $315 million in Golestan and Mazandaran province,” said Mohammad Mousavi, secretary of the Crisis Management and Risk Mitigation Office.
The Iranian Regime did nothing to protect the people despite warnings by the weather organization.
According to Entekhab state-run news agency, Manaf Hashemi, the governor of Golestan went on vacation abroad during the flood crisis.
The Iranian regime’s relief efforts were very limited, and most of the help to Iran flood 2019 victims came from voluntary aid by fishermen and farmers.
What were the reasons for the Golestan/Mazandaran floods?
The reason wasn’t the heavy rainfall alone, and the floods could have been easily managed.
One of the main reasons is deforestation and the looting of the natural resources of northern Iran by the regime officials and its organizations including Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The reasons for deforestation by the Iranian regime’s elements and officials are:
-Profiteering from selling wood;
-Constructing expensive houses for regime officials;
-Razing the forest to use the land for building factories.
The head of Mazandaran Natural Resources Department Vajihollah Mousavi exposed that, "We can see the villas pop up in faraway lands of Mazandaran owned by a former MPs or high-ranking officials… These villas have been raised in the middle of untouched country land and mountains."
In 2012 FAO declared that Iran's forests are being destroyed at a higher speed than everywhere in the world.
"Iran's northern forest reduced by 50% since 40 years ago. When we destroyed half of the forests, then rainfall is no more a gift but every rainfall strikes a flood,” said Massoud Molana, a member of Coordinating Council of National Natural Resources."
The ISNA state-run news agency also quoted Anoushiravan Najafi, deputy chief of the natural environment in the Environment Protection Organization, saying, "6,603 acres of Iran's northern forests are completely being destroyed every year.”
The second factor that played an essential role in Golestan/Mazandaran floods was Iranian regime authorities refraining from dredging dams and rivers.
"Sediments have filled Golestan dams, but authorities haven't taken any measure to dredge up dams. The result was that dams could not hold the floods and quickly overflew, releasing the flood toward populated lands.” (State-run news website Rouydad24)
As an example, half of Voshmgir dam had been filled with sediments. The regime was supposed to solve the dam's problems during a 5-year time table since 2008, but after 10 years, just 15% of the project has been fulfilled.
A simple study in the Iranian Regime's budget shows the regime's priorities. Figures clarify that not only the mullahs aren’t trying to improve Iranian people's welfare, but they’re also spending the country's wealth and budget to preserve their dictatorship:
IRGC's budget for suppression and expansion of terrorism: $4.8 billion
The regime's financial helps to Lebanese Hezbollah: $800 million
Iran's mullahs' educational center: $644 million
Iran's natural resources budget: $77.5 million
The budget needed for improvement of Voshmgir dam in Golestan: $13 million
Therefore, as long as this dictatorship exists, such disasters will recur.