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Public Outrage after Official Recognition on Starvation of 30% of Iranians | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s former Parliament speaker Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri. Reuters

London-Deputy Minister of Health Ali Akbar Sayyari said that 30 percent of Iranians are suffering from hunger although the Iranian Ministry of Health refused to publish “confidential” data mentioned in the latest ministry report on social threats.

Sayyari explained that statistics carried out by the Ministry of Labor prove his statements regarding the aggravation of hunger and poverty among Iranians.

Sayyari stressed during “Organizing Youth Affairs” conference on the importance of changing the government’s trend in dealing with social threats, considering that facing social discrimination and inequality should be the first step taken to combat threats to the Iranian society.

He noted in his statements that the Iranian Ministry of Health requested not to publish the confidential statistics that were included in the most recent report for the ministry on social threats, as quoted by Mehr News agency.

Meanwhile, Sayyari’s statements were given much attention by the media, and his comments caused angry reactions among Iranians, which was reflected on social media.

The angry Iranians shed light on Tehran’s support for terrorist organizations, funding and arming militias, and the delay of Rouhani administration’s promises to amend the economic situation and improve living conditions in Iran.

Moreover, the announcement made by the Iranian official on preventing the release of statistics – that contributes to raising awareness among Iranians on the threats their society is facing – received a great share of negative reaction in the Iranian street.

At the end of June, discussions began on the feasibility of releasing statistics, especially after current member of Iran’s influential Expediency Council and advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri criticized the country’s political and social conditions.

Nouri said that 37 years after the Iranian revolution, officials cannot consider their regime as a model for others.