By Nazanin Kamdar, Rooz Online
While state-run media use Europe and U.S. depression and suicide rates to claim that the West is disintegrating, a report by the Aria Strategic Studies Center revealed that 58 percent of Tehran residents suffer from severe and mild depression. Meanwhile, Tehran's police chief announced that the addiction age has decreased and Tehran has passed the "critical point" in this area. At the same time, unemployment rate, especially among the youth and university graduates, has reached 14 percent.
The Aria Strategic Studies Center released a report warning about the psychological well being of Tehran residents.
According to the Iranian Labor News Agency, ILNA, the report stated that 30 percent of Tehran residents suffer from severe depression, while another 28 percent suffer from mild depression.
The report added that concerns about marriage, housing, employment and income are among those that have caused anxiety and unease among Tehran residents.
Tehran's police chief added to concerns yesterday by announcing the latest figure on the number of addicts in Tehran.
Fars news agency also quotes Tehran's police chief Hossein Sajedinia to have said, "Four hundred thousand addicts live in Tehran and measures are underway to treat the addicts."
Addicts using drugs in a residential area in Tehran (see more photos)
According to experts, violence by security and law enforcement, fraud in last
year's presidential election, mass arrest of residents and murder of arrested
citizens in torture centers or during protests have contributed to high rates of
depression and pessimism among Tehran residents.
Deteriorating economic conditions and the rising number of unemployed youth have also been noted to explain the high rate of depression and pessimism among Tehran residents.
According to ISNA, the Iran Statistical Center's latest report stated, "Today, due to unemployment, inflation and loose monetary supply, despite the country's vast resources, more than 10 million people live in absolute poverty, and another 30 million in relative poverty."
ILNA labor news agency reports that the unemployment rate jumped 2 percent to the alarming rate of 14 percent in the second half of last year, as disenchanted citizens were suppressed and arrested en masse.
According to Mehr news agency, the Iran's Statistical Center placed unemployment among youth at 24 percent in an official report last month.
ILNA also reported that, "According to credible international sources, Iran rates 143rd among 180 countries in employment."
The incompetence of Ahmadinejad's administration coupled with its provocative foreign policy resulting in the fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, are gradually revealing ther social impact in the form of depression, addiction and unemployment.
In the meantime, Islamic republic officials, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his advisors, claim that economic sanctions have helped Iran achieve "independence" and "self-sufficiency." Such claims have been dismissed by prominent politicians such as green movement leaders and seyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the revolutionary founder of the regime.
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