The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

June 2022, No. 100


Only Experts Have the Authority
to Run the Country!

In my opinion, our biggest problem in the development of the country is the lack of land management. We need to determine where agriculture is developing, where the steel industry is and where other industries are.

Lack of attention to the issue of land management is one of the most important challenges in Irans development, and after years of infrastructure activities, its environmental consequences have now plagued the society. Lack of adherence to sustainable development strategies has confronted the government with accumulated demands. What factors can be used to look for the reasons for this situation? We had a meeting with Dr. Mehdi Karbasian, one of the most experienced managers in the countrys management system for four decades. The views of this distinguished manager contain enlightening points that can be a beacon for new managers. 

Given that water-intensive industries such as steel have been established in places like Isfahan that are facing water shortages, what justification was behind their establishment?

I do not have enough information about the water consumption of steels and I have to check this. Of course, there are arguments that the amount of water consumption in Mobarakeh Iron and Steel plants and other industries is high, and this has led to the draw water off Zayandehrood. As far as I know, 90 to 92 percent of the countrys water is used for agriculture, and due to the fact that the center and eastern parts of the country are desert and semi-arid, the type of agriculture and products produced in these regions should correspond with the climate and consumption.

The first point is that by investing in farmers, the government must once and for all change the type of cultivation and crop in low-water areas or the type of irrigation.

The second point that intensified after the revolution was the false slogan of self-sufficiency in agricultural products, which is still chanted. Of course, being able to produce our foodstuff needs domestically is in the interest of the country in terms of national security and food strategy, but what happened was that even in a city like Isfahan, they dug deep wells to cultivate barren lands, and thats why these days we are witnessing landslides in provinces such as Isfahan and Yazd.

The third point is that for some reason we did not prevent the violations that took place in the agricultural sector. For example, before the revolution, rice cultivation was banned in Isfahan, and agricultural experts identified those who cultivated rice in Isfahan and did not allow them to harvest. As a result, after the revolution, such promotional activities were stopped and the violators could cultivate any product they wanted. To prevent this, the farmers must first be enlightened and then the violators must be dealt with if there is a violation.

The fourth point is that the post-revolutionary governments made violations. In 2004, the Economic Council approved that the countrys steel capacity be increased by four million tons. At the same meeting, it was suggested that we establish this factory in Bandar Abbas, because it has easy access to water and to the port for exports. At that meeting, (former president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad and his advisers made an unprofessional, unscientific and irrational decision to build eight 800,000-ton factories instead of a four-million-ton factory. This decision was made when China as the worlds steel production axis approved that a plant with a capacity of less than five million tons is not economically viable.

In my opinion, our biggest problem in the development of the country is the lack of land management. We need to determine where agriculture is developing, where the steel industry is and where other industries are. Of course, something has been written, but it will not be implemented. Because instead of being ruled rationally and expertly, the country is run by politicians, and politics interferes in all matters and aspects of life, including economic, social, cultural, etc., and this is a great scourge.

Consider the same issue of air pollution in Tehran. All officials from the leadership down in live Tehran and are associated with air pollution. But because the environment is not a priority, no one does anything. In post-Mao China, 7-8 years ago, priority was given to industrial development, and the environment had no place to the extent that when you went to Beijing you could not breathe. But the incumbent president of China has given priority to the environment and ordered the closure of all polluting industries around Beijing, which is why Beijing is in good weather today.


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