Snows Highlight Poor Crisis Management in Iran
The Mazandaran Gas Company expects widespread cuts.

OE Watch Commentary: While the Islamic Republic of Iran likes to project an image of outward strength, decades of sanctions and, more importantly, corruption and mismanagement have led to a declining infrastructure, especially outside of major cities and in the country’s periphery.
With mountains that rival the Rockies, winters in northern Iran can be harsh. Abnormally heavy snow this past winter has strained the Iranian government’s capacity to provide services such as electricity and gas. Such issues can destabilize Iran quickly: during the winter of 2007-2008 heavy snows and subsequent gas shortages led bread prices to jump between 200 and 700 percent across northern Iran and ultimately forced the Iranian government to deploy the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to keep order across northern Iran.
Against the backdrop of the February storms, several members of the Iranian parliament criticized President Hassan Rouhani’s administration for unbalanced, unplanned, and incorrect relief distribution and warned that the government bungled relief in a way that could cause the people’s dissatisfaction with the system and subsequent protesting.
Western governments understandably approach Iran through the diplomatic lens, but the Iranian government’s own domestic failures and the Iranian military’s domestic deployments reflect a fundamental infrastructure weakness and popular discord that continues to afflict some areas of Iran even 35 years after its Islamic Revolution. End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)

Homayoun Haeri, the Managing Director of Iran Power Generation Transmission & Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR). Source:
Source: “Bahran-e Barf Sarasari Shod/Bahran-e Gaz dar Rah Ast.” (“The Nationwide Snow Crisis/A Gas Crisis is Coming”), 4 February 2014.
A Gas Crisis is Coming
According to Fararu’s correspondent, after the past two days, the crisis in the northern part of the country due to heavy snowfall, the situation in this region has led to frustration. Reports suggest that Mazandaran province’s urban centers have electricity.
Homayoun Haeri, the chief executive officer of Tavanir [Iran Power Generation and Transmission Company], stated that the power supply and water in all snow-bound northern cities has been established, and said, “Right now, there is electricity in all the cities of Mazandaran, and especially the west of this province.”
The CEO of Tavanir, recalling that more than two meters of snow had fallen in some areas, said that some electrical equipment had been buried under snow and led to power cuts to villages, added, “The main problem for the provision of electricity to villages without power is a lack of communication, and we hope that with the provision of access roads to villages without power, villages without electricity will be identified and energized….”
Tonekabon [a city in Mazandaran] was said to be the epicenter of the [snow] crisis, with some reports stating that four people died because they were unable to reach the hospital. Today, however, the province is grappling with a crisis arising from a gas pressure drop. Some areas of Mazandaran are facing gas cuts. The Mazandaran Gas Company expects widespread cuts…