“When experience in prison is not harsh, the individual stays in prison for a while,
is released and returns to prison again.”
OE Watch Commentary: Abbas Salahi, member of the Parliament’s Social Committee, pens a plea in the conservative daily Tehran-e Emrooz (Tehran Today) to reduce Iran’s burgeoning prison population (according to the International Center for Prison Studies [ICPS], Iran imprisons 284 persons per 100,000 population). While ICPS ranks Iran 39th, Salahi’s acknowledgment that Iran now ranks number four probably reflects political prisoners who might not otherwise be reflected in judiciary statistics.
Salahi laments that various initiatives over the years to reduce the prison population have not worked because of a high level of recidivism. While he decries that the Iranian public does not show more tolerance and often demands prison terms for infractions which Salahi implies merit only lesser penalties, he also opens the window into a society which all too often the Islamic Republic’s leadership pretends does not exist. Iranian television and radio often portray the Islamic Republic as a society of values and ethics, which stands in sharp contrast to the moral laxity and corruption of the West. However, the recidivism rate which Salahi suggests indicates that violent crime is an increasing problem inside Iran. His comment that prisoners learn new behaviors suggests that Iranian society faces not simply drug abuse and simple assaults, but also more violent crime involving firearms, explosives, or larger-scale smuggling, and that organized crime is increasing inside the Islamic Republic. At the same time, the refusal of the Iranian public to accept punishments less than prison sentences suggests that the regime faces frustration not only from those who seek a different political future, but also those who are more apolitical, who simply believe that the regime has failed to deliver the basic security which any public demands of its government. Iran may be boiling in ways that do not often cross diplomats’ radar screens. End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)
Homayoun Haeri, the Managing Director of Iran Power Generation Transmission & Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR). Source: http://english.farsnews.com
Source: “Bahran-e Barf Sarasari Shod/Bahran-e Gaz dar Rah Ast.” (“The Nationwide Snow Crisis/A Gas Crisis is Coming”) Fararu.com, 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…