Every year during the winter season, air pollution becomes a topic in Iranian state media. According to the Ministry of Health, this situation causes 40,000 to 45,000 premature deaths per year.
Tehran’s air pollution
As per the Tehran Air Quality Control Company, automobile and motorbike traffic are responsible for the majority of Tehran’s air pollution.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Organization accuses the Standard Organization of failing to prohibit the production of non-standard automobiles, and the Standard Organization passes the ball to the automakers, who then transfer it to the Ministry of Oil.
This is because the Environmental Organization has stated for many years that non-standard car production must be halted. Iran’s automakers, which are controlled by elements of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), ignore current rules mandating them to create automobiles that meet the Euro 5 standard, contributing to the worsening of air pollution in the country’s cities, particularly large cities.
The regime is unconcerned about people’s health
Furthermore, various policies in the field of pollution control have been implemented in recent years, the majority of which have failed to reduce air pollution, indicating that the regime’s government is unconcerned about people’s health, a clear sign of the high rate of lung cancer, which is a leading cause of death in Iran.
In this sense, the Standard Organization has its own explanations. They claim that they have repeatedly informed automakers about the possibility of stopping production of certain models, such as the Pride, Peugeot 405, and Nissan, but automakers claim that the cost of car production has risen significantly and that halting production of the cheapest cars on the market will make the market inaccessible to many Iranian customers.
Under these conditions, automakers, who have powerful lobbyists in the government and parliament, refuse to simply remove their cheapest and best-selling vehicles and ignore public health.
Tehran’s air pollution is due to increased carbon in the air
Automakers, on the other hand, pass the ball to the oil ministry, claiming that Euro 5 gasoline production in Iran is done in very small quantities and that no one should expect automakers to adapt or cease producing automobiles that use Euro 4 fuel.
“All gasoline delivered to Tehran’s fuel supply stations since 2013 has been Euro 4 gasoline,” Abbas Kazemi, an assistant to Bijan Zanganeh, the former government’s energy minister, told 90 Economics. “Tehran’s air pollution is due to increased carbon in the air.”
“The distribution of Euro 4 gasoline to the metropolitan transport network is not mentioned in the five-year economic development plan,” he said. “However, Euro 4 gasoline is shipped to all metropolises, and Iran will not be capable of producing Euro 5 gasoline for the next 20 years because the refineries designed in the country can only produce Euro 4 gasoline.”
Illegal gasoline production
Worst of all, the regime’s oil ministry is defending its illegal gasoline production and denying any involvement.
In reaction to the country’s lack of standard fuel, Hassan Rouhani’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, blamed automakers for air pollution, saying:
“Fuel consumption in Nissan pickup trucks in the country is extremely high, and the average fuel consumption in Nissan vans in the country is currently around 20 liters per 100 kilometers; these cars have been obsolete in the rest of the world for years, but they are still manufactured in Iran.”
Regardless of the regime’s various groups and institutions evading their responsibilities and holding each other responsible for air pollution, the Iranian people are suffering and dying. In addition, Iran’s cities are among the world’s most polluted.