Tehran’s air pollution is having a major effect on patients’ response to Covid-19, according to the Iranian regime’s interior minister.
Over 198,400 people have died of the coronavirus across all of Iran, according to reports by the Iranian opposition, The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI / MEK Iran).
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 7, 2021
Covid-19 is a respiratory disease that affects the respiratory tract, especially the lungs. Air pollution directly affects the lung cavities and makes them more susceptible to attack by the virus.
Tehran is not alone as many of Iran’s major cities have severe air pollution problems. Tehran itself has been denoted as a red zone for air pollution and is now in a state of quasi-shutdown.
According to Issa Kalantari, the head of the regime’s environmental organization, it is the burning of sulfur-rich mazut fuel in power plants and industrial facilities. “The use of sulfur-rich combustive in industries and power plants, and the activities of some sectors have had a severe negative impact on air pollution in Tehran and the density of sulfur in the air has doubled,” said the head of Tehran City Council, Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Air Pollution Crisis Hits Iran: It should also question the regime’s handling of the #COVID-19 crisis which according #NCRI and #MEK #Iran, has led to almost 200,000 deaths. https://t.co/r5b7hGn9Kx pic.twitter.com/Prn5rKqn1S
— StopFundamentalism (@SFundamentalism) January 5, 2021
“The person who is supposed to enforce the law of clean air has reached the decision that we must burn mazut fuel,” said Issa Kalantari about the deputy prosecutor of the country, who apparently ordered provincial governorates to use mazut rather than petroleum.
Setareh Sobh, a state-run newspaper questioned the failure to use clean air laws: “Large cities drowned in fumes,” on Sunday, in which it warned, “In the current conditions where we’re also faced with the coronavirus crisis, air pollution might increase the spread of the disease by 10-15 percent. The question is, why isn’t the law of clean air implemented to prevent more than 40,000 yearly deaths that happen in Iran due to air pollution?”
Mardom Salari, another daily, also hit home with concerns about the use of mazut and the role of regime officials in covering up the effects of air pollution in Iran’s major cities with this piece: “Recently, the air in Tehran has been very polluted, and the main reason is the use of mazut fuel in power plants.
The air pollution in #Iran is the direct result of the regime’s wrong policies, and the mullahs are using it to silently kill #Iranians and make more money#HumanRights #WeStand4FreeIranhttps://t.co/Gzcg6YJiEZ https://t.co/vJlvnKrcvg
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 7, 2021
After officials evaded telling the truth and even denied reports, with the air pollution index soaring above 157 and the situation becoming worse, the environmental organization finally confirmed these reports. Air pollution is one of the important factors of deaths in the country, and a look at the figures shows that in some years, pollution causes more deaths than road accidents. According to announcements by the health ministry, in the past years, in Tehran, more than 3,000 people aged above 30 have lost their lives due to pollution.”
Yet another newspaper, the Arman Daily, reminded readers that “15 million liters of mazut is suffocating the people” and warned, “As the weather becomes colder, the skies of Tehran and other cities become grayer, and this happens while schools and other sectors are not active. On Saturday, the pollution index of parts of Tehran province, Bagher Abad and Shahr-e Rey exceeded 200, and in some parts of Tehran city, pollution was at 186.”
The air pollution from mazut has lead to a series of tweets lamenting the effect on ordinary Iranians. “Don’t burn mazut so we can breathe,” and “Death from air pollution is more than coronavirus deaths.” The Etemehad daily site tweeted: “With the air becoming increasingly polluted, the hashtag ‘dont_burn_mazut’ started trending in the Farsi Twitter-sphere and users protested this matter.”
The mullahs ruling Iran facilitated the spread of #Coronavirus and did not make any serious efforts to contain it. This is why the pandemic has turned into a source for hidden escalation of fury and anger. #Iran pic.twitter.com/POXm7kOo8j
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 5, 2021
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), put the spotlight on the shortcomings of the regime when she said: “Because of pollution, the people of Tehran and major Iranian capitals cry out ‘we cannot breathe!’ The mullahs waste the country’s wealth in anti-patriotic nuclear and missile projects and on the export of terrorism. By using Mazut, they bring death to the people of Iran.”