|Travelogue: Iran in times of sanctions|
By Abdul Mumin Giwa
Islamic Republic of Iran, since the victory of the Islamic revolution led by Imam Khumaini (QS) has been surviving and living through various milestones to take its current position as a technologically as well as scientifically advanced country.
In my current visit to the only existing Islamic state in the world and the only Muslim nation that is free of the euro-American and Jewish control and exploitation, I have had the opportunity to meet different kinds of persons with varying ideas.
The Writer standing first on the left
The weather was very nice at that time because it was neither cold nor hot and I also arrived towards the celebration of one of the important events in the country to which a public holiday was declared. It was the Ghadeer celebration, the day on which Imam Ali AS was declared the successor of the holy Prophet Muhammad SAWA. This is important to the Islamic Republic unlike other Muslim nations who hardly recognize nor refer to it. It is indeed a very important holiday because people attend gatherings in Islamic centers, visit friends and relations and also take some time out for family outings. All worship centers were decorated beautifully to suit the event.
The Islamic Republic came into existence at a time when one of the two major ideologies in the world, namely communism was ousted from the world power seat. The two powers were in a cold war with each one controlling a particular region. The capitalists were in charge in the west while the east is in control of the communists.
Now that communism has been ousted the light of Islam has come back to the world stage with
The Islamic system, which is faith-based is older and wiser than the American capitalist system that is materialistic and secular. But at this point in time it is in the cradle being that it is making a come back to the world stage.
For this reason
I received an invitation to attend the 2nd Press Union of the Islamic World meeting in
Though I wasn’t really prepared for the event I chose to go because I only knew about it on the same day the launch of my book took place.
Actually nothing had changed in the reception and treatment accorded us as guests because I was there for the first meting the previous year. So I could be able to tell.
We met people that complained a lot about the effects of the American imposed sanctions on their country. But what I personally observed was that such complains were based on personal interests. They were not based on the general volition of the people of the country.
A friend of mine complained that there was gross devaluation of the currency of the country which has led to the inflation in prices goods. At the same time the level of income of people is still the same. This to them has created more problems and is causing them to look for other sources of funds. I wanted him to explain what he wanted the government to do for him that is better than what it is doing. Does he want the government to submit itself to the whims and caprices of
But to resolve such effects of the subsidy, the government has provided a lot of ease in the basic amenities. There was cheap transportation, food, healthcare delivery services, medicine, access to education and uninterrupted power supply. Every youth has access to education.
In the aspect of transportation, there was the town service in the city of
I went through the subway from Tajris station in northern
I also discussed with one of my Iranian friends who is also among the organizers of our meetings and he expressed his anger on
He mentioned that the subsidy amount withdrawn is used to better the life of those in the rural areas on the other side. This is because they need the money better.
In order to support the poverty stricken, the government has registered more than 15 million people that receive support package every two months. They are paid 90 thousand Riyals every two months to cater for their essential needs. And every needy is entitled to this as long as he can provide facts that he needs such support.
Another aspect is the government’s ability to control influx of people from rural to urban areas. The government has extended all necessary healthcare delivery facilities to the urban areas with doctors. Gas supply has been taken to their doorsteps, power supply, education and other basic amenities have all been provided to those rural communities. In fact medicinal drugs are extremely cheap in
A friend of mine in
The rural people had no need to leave their communities to go in search of better life in the urban areas. This has created balance in the country. To top this all, the Iranian government had even received the UNICEF award for the best in rural development in the world.
In fact I traveled from
One other important thing the government did is the development of its local industries. The industries have been developed to international standards. There is nothing that is needed that is not produced locally. Most of their requirements are produced locally. They had no need to rely on imports. Therefore those who actually need foreign made things are the ones complaining. This is because of the rate of the dollar to the Iranian currency. The dollar is too expensive. Hence, one could go for the local substitute of what ever thing he needs. And if he insists on the imported things he has to use the dollar and that will make the thing expensive.
The Iranian cars industries has developed. Cars and other vehicles are locally manufactured in
The aspect of scientific development is yet another important one. The Islamic Republic has gone far in the field of nanotechnology. The government engages its university professors in researches. The results of such researches are developed and the resultant products are marketed. They have extended the nanotechnology techniques to the field of medicine and others. In fact
This is not talking about its achievement in the field of nuclear science. As
Life is still moving in
Coming back to