Iran’s political earthquake
: Hossein Derakhshan, Iran’s premier blogger, explains how the earthquake in Bam reveals the fundamental separation of the people of Iran from their government:
Nothing could ever show the real sense of diconnectivity and distrust between Iranian people and the Islamic regime, and its deeply dysfunctionality better than a devastating quake….
People inside and outside Iran are desperately trying to gather donations, but they don’t want to give the money to the government….
However, the reason is pretty clear: When a government can run the whole country only by the oil and gas income, it doesn’t have to answer its people’s needs; it only thinks about its own needs. (In 2004, Iran will have $16 billion revenue from oil export, while it only depends on approximately 18% of citizen’s taxes.)
So it’s not important for the government that tens of thousands of lives are lost in road accidents every year, or millions are living in homes poorly resistible against any earthquake bigger than 5 Richter, or millions are open to different kinds of cancer because of the poisonously polluted air of Tehran, etc.
But they are pretty concerned about their own power and the threat from their own enemies; so they are always ready to spend a whole year of oil income, $16 billion, to achieve nuclear technology to use it as defensive weapons.
Why such a state ever bothers to care about the people’s needs when it doesn’t need their taxes and therefore their votes? Unless the power gets in the hands of real elected people, and the state is run by people’s taxes, nothing will ever change; the state will have its own goals (to defend itself) and people have their own (to simply survive).