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Iran: Regime Refuses to Declare Exact Number of Azadshahr Miners Killed


Azadshahr mine explosion – No. 5

Yesterday the director general of the Golestan Province Crisis Management Department (northern Iran) said the body of another miner was discovered in the Azadshahr mine, raising the number of those killed to 43.

A week after the Azashahr mine explosion, the mullahs’ regime continues to refuse to announce the true number of casualties in this incident. This mine had 500 workers and yet the related organs are refusing to announce how many miners were inside the mine at the time of the explosion. A number of regime officials have said the explosion took place during a change of shifts, placing a larger number of workers in the mine. Other regime sources first announced 90 miners were trapped, and afterwards resorted to providing contradicting numbers to cloak the scope of this horrific incident.

“It remains unclear how many of the 60 workers had died in the mine incident,” said Hadi Hosseini, secretariat of the Center of Islamic Labor Councils in Golestan Province. “A number of these workers had reached their retirement and they should have retired through their legal pensions.” (State-run ILNA news agency – May 8, 2017)

Commanders of the Revolutionary Guards and Basij forces, being the main stakeholders of the mine, have remained completely silent to cloak their role in this incident. In the first 12 hours after the explosion instead of providing care for the wounded and trying to save the lives of the miners, these officials immediately dispatched Basij and anti-riot police units at the scene to prevent protests by any miners aboveground and their families.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited the site five days after the catastrophe. Angry protesters showed their rage over the entire mullahs’ regime and its criminal senior officials, who refuse to pay the least attention to the workers’ endless pains and sufferings. The miners protested lack of safety equipment, gas sensors, air ventilators, channels to deplete the gas and oxygen capsules, officials neglecting the miners’ warnings, and delaying the minors’ wages for the past 18 months while the miners have been continuing this harsh and dangerous field of work. The workers also protested the possibility of being arrested and fired from work.

This shocking situation is not particular to the Azadshahr mine and all mines across Iran are facing such circumstances. On May 8th another worker in the Tezarah mine of Shahroud (east of Tehran) lost his life due to gas infection.

Iranian MP Homayun Hashemi admitted workers in Iran are hungry.

“Currently, there are 100 mines in my constituency that are in far worse conditions than the Azadshahr mine. Time and again I have warned these ministers, but no measures are taken… It has been around 22 months since some of the miners in my constituency have not received their wages and a month ago 200 miners were fired from work,” he said (State-run ISNA news agency – May 9th, 2017).

Iranian Resistance President-elect Maryam Rajavi described the mullahs’ plundering regime as the entity responsible for such atrocious incidents and especially the high number of casualties.

At a time when after similar incidents in other countries all assets and services are placed the lives of those who have suffered, in Iran all assets and services are used to serve the regime’s plundering and domestic crackdown machine, she said.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 10, 2017