- Whether to intimidate or to shame, justice in Iran is often public. @MRubin1971
- Crime remains rampant, especially in Iran’s rapidly expanding cities. @MRubin1971
- Drug abuse is rampant in Iran, & with the world’s largest Opium producer next door, Iran is a transit country & consumer.
Editor's Note: FMSO’s Operational Environment Watch provides translated selections and analysis from a diverse range of foreign articles and other media that analysts and expert contributors believe will give military and security experts an added dimension to their critical thinking about the Operational Environment.
Source: “Gardardan-e ashrar dar Khavaran.” (“Rounding Up Hoodlums in Khavaran,” Faruru.com. 31 July 2012.
Whether to intimidate or to shame, justice in Iran is often public. Hangings and lashings can occur in town and village squares. Crime remains rampant, though, especially in Iran’s rapidly expanding cities. Many Iranians, for example, remove ignition wires to prevent automobile theft. Drug abuse is especially rampant. Opium was used widely in Iran into the mid-twentieth century, when the Shah grandfathered the practice out. Still, with the world’s largest producer of opium next door in Afghanistan, Iran remains not only a transit country for the drug, but also a major consumer.
The photo essay focuses on criminality in the Atabak neighborhood in the Khavaran section of Tehran. The area derives its name from the Khavaran Highway, a major thoroughfare in southeastern Tehran. Atabak represents the area south of Fedayin-i Islami Park, stretching south to Besat Boulevard. The area is poor and working class, a sharp contrast to affluent northern Tehran.
The photos depict the prevalence of the drug problem in Iran; many of the young men on display have drug paraphernalia before them. The display of a suspect with an illegal rifle suggests an undercurrent of violent crime on the streets of Tehran. One parent also displays a photograph of an apparently murdered child with a knife wound to his face.
The preparation for the display—not only the ready supply of tomatoes and apples but also the banners which read (translated from Persian), “Gangsters and Hoodlums arrested in the Atabak neighborhood” —suggest a public relations effort to ameliorate public frustration by demonstrating progress against street crime. Nevertheless, persistent stories about drug busts suggest that the Iranian government is waging an uphill battle.