MEK Iran: Raisi’s Hypocritical Environmentalist Claims at the UN General Assembly
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, delivered his first address to the United Nations General Assembly last month. Human rights sanctions prevented his trip plans to the United States, so his speech was aired live.
Destroying the environment is a trait of tyrants
Among the customary anti-US slogans in Raisi’s address, there was a remark about environmentalism, a remark in which Raisi used the Quran to indicate that destroying the environment is a trait of tyrants.
The Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation was one of Iran’s most important environmentalist groups. The group was founded in 2008 with the goal of protecting endangered animals. Droughts in Iran, caused or aggravated by government mismanagement, were having a detrimental impact on wildlife, so the organization decided to focus on them.
However, the group terminated activities in 2018. Kavous Seyed Emami, a Canadian-Iranian with a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oregon, was arrested at his home. He “committed suicide” in prison fifteen days later, as officials like to mock.
Iran’s most well-known environmentalist detained
Niloufar Bayani is Iran’s most well-known environmentalist detainee who is still alive. Bayani graduated from Columbia University with a master’s degree in conservation biology and has worked as a consultant for the United Nations Environment Program. She joined the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation after returning to Iran, which led to her detention in 2019. On false espionage charges, the dictatorship condemned her to ten years in prison. She was subjected to “mental tortures” by her guards, was threatened with physical and sexual abuse, and was made to verbally “complete their sexual fantasies,” according to an open letter she penned from prison.
Seyed Emami and Bayani are far from the only ones who have suffered. Other environmental activists are serving time in Iran’s harsh jails for their work.
Iran retaliated against environmental activists
Why has Iran retaliated against environmental activists? Of course, the regime has a tendency to quiet critics out of habit. More crucially, it is to blame for the country’s severe environmental disaster, and it does not want the Iranian people or outside observers to know the gravity of the situation.
“Iran’s dam industry is number one around the world,” the regime boasted, referring to the number of dams built in Iran and by Iranian engineers for other countries. The dam development, however, comes at a price: drained rivers and lakes, which have damaged residents and animals.
The country’s environmental catastrophe
The agricultural business in Iran has also been affected by the country’s environmental catastrophe. Consider the Gotvand dam, which was built in the minority-majority Khuzestan province in the south in 2011-12 against environmental specialists’ warnings. The dam redirected water over a salt dome, bringing salt to the Karun River, which flows into the Persian Gulf. Mismanagement has resulted in salty water, which has damaged over a million palm trees, harmed the fishing sector, and reduced the availability of freshwater for cultivation. Summer protests erupted throughout the province as a result of the crisis, which the regime forcefully suppressed.
Dam construction is plagued with nepotism and corruption
Dam construction is plagued with nepotism and corruption. Power brokers frequently urge dams to reroute water to their naturally arid towns. Dams are intended by construction businesses linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in order to obtain advantageous government contracts that will benefit both the companies and the IRGC. Their earnings, on the other hand, are made at the expense of the people, who are frequently ethnic minorities.
Raisi’s speech to the UN General Assembly was a scathing indictment of the United States as an oppressive power. But, by his own Islamic standards, he needs to examine himself, as his regime is to blame for the crisis, which he exacerbated by directing the crackdown on dissenting voices.
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