Shocking footage recently filmed by the Iranian film director Jafar Panahi who was previously banned from filmmaking by the regime, shows large numbers of homeless people, including many women, most of them drug addicts, sleeping in the freezing cold winter streets of Tehran near Shush Square in the center of the nation’s capital. This comes after footage showed other homeless people sleeping in a cemetery.
The large number of people seen in the footage, filmed in an act of defiance by the film director who is risking his own freedom to show the grim reality in Iran, indicates that this is only a small fraction of the real and rapidly increasing number of homeless people in Iran, with life on the streets leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and various social and health problems, including substance addiction. The footage has caused further anger among the Iranian public, already outraged by reports about the numbers of homeless sleeping in empty graves in a cemetery in the town of Shahriar near the capital.
The shocking sharp increase in poverty and destitution in Iran comes as the regime spends billions on regional wars and expansionism under the pretext of “exporting the Islamic revolution” across the Middle East, and on funding a large number of extremist sectarian militias in Arab nations, which are perpetrating terrorism across the region. Meanwhile, Iranians are left to languish in ever-worsening poverty, with levels of homelessness, drug addiction, and other severe social problems skyrocketing, whilst only the regime elite benefits from the country’s wealth in the wake of the nuclear deal.