Iranians outraged over incompetent government response to Tehran skyscraper fire disaster

Iran was shocked on Thursday, January 19 as a deadly fire raged in downtown Tehran’s iconic 17-story Plasco tower.  Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours, yet the high-rise collapsed, and at least thirty trapped firefighters died due to lack of facilities, the BBC Persian Service reported.

The next day, Tehran locals were extremely angry, saying millions have been spent for ballistic missiles to reach Western capitals, yet the regime couldn’t provide adequate hoses for firefighters to reach Plasco’s 10th floor.

They said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has provided enormous resources available to the Iranian regime, especially Tehran’s terrorist entities, such as the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), which play an outsized role in Iran’s internal power structure and which definitely exploit economic dividends generated by the JCPOA.  With a network of money-laundering systems, the IRGC finance terrorist groups across the world.

According to a Reuters review of business accords

When world powers agreed in 2015 to lift sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, the deal's supporters in the United States, Europe, and Tehran hoped renewed trade and investment could boost Iran's private sector and weaken the state's hold on the economy.

But the Iranian benefactors so far are mostly companies owned or controlled by the state, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Of nearly 110 agreements worth at least $80 billion that have been struck since the deal was reached in July 2015, 90 have been with companies owned or controlled by Iranian state entities, the analysis shows.

The same concern has been raised by prominent U.S. congressmen,

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and Select Intelligence Committee, wrote in a Sept. 2016 press release:

We now know the President authorized a $1.7 billion cash ransom payment to Iran, then his administration lied about it to Congress[.] ... Providing cash to Iran has also allowed the mullahs to circumvent the international financial system as they shuttle much-needed resources to their terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

Since the Nuclear agreement was completed, Iran has fired four missiles in defiance of United Nations resolutions. Iran is using the cash it has received from the Obama administration’s ransom payment for its military expansion and terrorist activities[.] … There must be consequences for Iran’s ballistic missile activities[.]

Maryam Rajavi, president of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, said in a speech delivered recently in Paris:

The year since the nuclear accord, many of the sanctions were lifted and oil exports increased. But the generated revenues were poured into the inferno of the Syrian war. Dozens of political and business delegations visited Tehran, where they found a bankrupt, unstable and totally corrupt system.

While Iran this month will commemorate the 1979 revolution anniversary, an Iranian tweeted: “We started the revolution holding roses...Now the roses turned into misery against us, and missile and terrorism, against the neighbors.”

The new administration in the United States brings a sense of incredible insecurity and nervousness to the ayatollahs in Iran.  The religious tyranny in Iran will, at last, have to face 80 million dissatisfied people while working hard to manage its over-extended proxies that continue with their crimes against nations across the region.  The answer to the failed legacy of Obama’s policy is definitely a policy change to end state-sponsored terrorism.

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and social media journalist.  He graduated from California State University, Sacramento.

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