Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Clean Air and Good Intentions

There have been so many events going on during the past days. We had the Clean Air Day celebrations on Sunday. This was an event that the Department of Environment initiated during my tenure. During those years we embarked on a serious strategy to improve air quality in Tehran as well as 7 major cities, amounting to better air for more than 20 million citizens. A comprehensive plan was implemented in 7 phases and more than 40 projects. We had achieved many targets by 2006 including out phasing lead from gasoline in the country, implementing emission standards for the automotive industry and promoting CNG fueled public transportation. Those projects resulted in better air quality until 2007 , however since the new government was installed many projects have failed or have faced serious delays. Now the quality of air in this city of 8.5 million is deteriorating quickly.
The Environment Committee of the City Council visited some of the projects of the Metro ( the underground urban train system) . The Metro has transported more than 2 billion commuters since its inception in 1996 and it is rapidly expanding the current 3 lines to 8 lines. Several regions in the city are under construction for the Metro . The people are generally very satisfied and hope to see new lines opened for transportation in different parts of the city. We visited some lines in the south of the city and also some maintenance facilities.
My general impression is that the current government is no longer interested in promoting environmental standards and improving air and water quality. They seem to follow only short term objectives and usually invest where they can generate some propaganda for the upcoming presidential elections. Their incompetence in many areas is now taking its toll.
No one still knows whether President Khatami will stand for these elections or not. Many people hope that he will step forward to change the existing circumstances. Others pray that God gives him the wisdom to make a correct decision.
Changes in the American administration are inevitable and the world is watching closely. The inaugural ceremony is underway. We have a religious narration saying that : Actions are judged by the intentions behind them. I hope Obama has good intentions not only for the American people but for all of humanity as well.


Black Chador said...

Environment is not the only victim of your current government. Ahmadinejad just like the Hamas in Palestine fooled Iranian with his empty promises of fighting people poverty and government corruptions. During his presidency many of his friends and family members became milliners and the milliners became billionaires. Ahmadinejad promises of eliminating poverty changed to promises of eliminating Israel. His promises of Freedoms for all changed to Mullahs Freedom to shut ting down the newspapers and imprisoning the bloggers. His call for justice changed to call for Closer of Human Rights office.
I hope Khatami stay away from this election.
I hope Ahmadinejad win his reelection.
I hope Iranian suffer more under another Ahmadinejad term as we suffered under Bush’s two terms.
Bush was not just a disaster for America but the whole world. His tax cut for rich was his domestic mistake and his rhetoric of “Axis of Evil” was a poisonous arrow that wounded the Reform movement in Iran. He murdered many Iraqis and Americans so Karl Rove has a video clip for Bush’s re-election campaign. History will not judge this Radical Born Again Christian in a good way and real Americans will not forgive him for the damage he has brought to their Democracy and constitution. Today as I saw him leaving the Capital building in a helicopter all I could think was please go away and phase out. I am not a mean spirited person but I wish Bush a very long and UNHAPPY life. I want him alive when president of United State of America attends a Green World Conference in Tehran and sit beside a freely elected president of Iran (hopefully a woman).
I truly believe that Obama is going to do well domestically. But, he will need help from Muslim, Jews, Christians and Atheists to do well internationally.
Maybe Iran needs another four years of dictatorship in order to stand up and demand a total change. As long as you allow your decision to come from an unelected person change to the lower level (president) does not mean anything. In a so called “Democracy” when Khatami or any other candidates has to go and ask permission of an unelected person before decides to run for presidency or not is way too sad and funny at the same time.
Your country is not a Democracy yet, that does not mean that you couldn’t become a Democracy in near future but for that to happen you will need a monomial change in people’s mental state first. Iranian people have to believe that “Yes, they also can”. They have to believe that those Basiji’s bullets won’t kill all of them at the same time. They need to believe that their country and their children’s freedoms are more important than the price of Basmati Rice.
Just think about this: on one spring morning millions of Iranian women come to streets shouting for their Rights and freedom, some wearing Black Chador, some wearing Rosary and some wearing nothing on their hair?
How would this “Democratic” regime react to them? Jail millions, kill millions or fee millions.

Black Chador said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,

After reading this article about many daily executions in Iran I have three very simple questions and I hope you be kind enough and answer:
1- Are these people criminals or political prisoners being executed?
2- If they are criminals, why after 30 years of Islamic teaching there are so many hardcore criminals in Iran?
3- If they are political prisoners being killed, is it because Ahmadinejad said; we don’t have political prisoners?


Black Chador said...

Let’s support Hamas forever and hate the ones that kill the Palestinians people


I hope Israel stop killing these poor people