Corrupt Regime Construction of a Petrochemical Site Will Devastate the Miankaleh Wetland and National Park
The construction of a petrochemical site in Miankaleh has recently become a contentious social issue. The regime’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, began the first phases of the Miankaleh Petrochemical Complex in March, but Ali Selajgeh, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced that the project had not been approved by the agency and that it would be illegal to develop it.
Following widespread public outcry over the petrochemical complex’s construction in the Miankaleh Protected Reservoir, the government announced that the project has been halted. As usual, the regime’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, tried to take advantage of the situation by claiming that he personally ordered the project to be halted, followed by Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, who stepped in and claimed credit.
Despite judicial orders, environmental activists and local residents claim that construction is continuing unabated and around the clock. Following these reports, Mohammad Sadegh Akbari, the head of Mazandaran’s Justice Department, announced on Wednesday, April 13, that he had dispatched a team to the area to investigate the situation. He claimed that those who disobey the order to halt the petrochemical project will face legal consequences.
Environmentalists claim that the construction of a petrochemical complex will devastate the Miankaleh wetland and national park and that the devastation experienced in Khuzestan Province will be repeated here.
The mere presence of Ahmadi Vahidi at the ground-breaking ceremony indicated that the Revolutionary Guards were involved in the project and that the project is continuing despite alleged orders from Tehran because powerful hands are behind it.
Without mentioning Miankaleh Petrochemical Complex, the Speaker of the regime’s parliament, Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, recently spoke about a project in which an investment was made and work began after obtaining a permit, but it was later halted. Meanwhile, some pro-government journalists claimed that Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was the mastermind behind the project, citing his speech in parliament as proof.
— تلویزیون ایران آزادی (@IranAzad_TV) April 14, 2022
Miankaleh is a wetland in the southeast of the Caspian Sea and a protected area in Iran. It is an important habitat for herons, swallows, and other migratory birds, and is one of the country’s wildlife sanctuaries.
The assertion that the project will be completed despite public opposition strengthens the suspicion that the Revolutionary Guards and possibly institutions affiliated with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have a vested interest in its success.