Solidarity group expresses condolences for fire victims in Iran

19th January 2017
Press Release
For Immediate Use
Solidarity group expresses condolences for fire victims in Iran
Solidarity organisation, the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR), has expressed condolences to the families of those killed in the fire at the Pasco building in Tehran today.  At the same time however, CODIR has pointed out that this is a tragedy which could have been avoided, if the building owners had taken the correct precautions and the Iranian authorities had enforced health and safety rules.
At least thirty firefighters are believed to have been killed in the tragedy, when many were trapped under rubble as part of the rescue mission.  Over 200 people are believed to have been injured in the fire, which spread from the upper floors, but soon engulfed the entire building.
The 56-year-old Plasco, which housed 400 businesses, was built by wealthy millionaire Habibollah Elghanian and was among the most prominent buildings on the Tehran skyline.  After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the building was handed over to the Mostazafan Foundation of the Islamic Republic (Foundation of the Dispossessed).
Today’s events occur three years to the day that a similar inferno in Tehran resulted in the deaths of two female textile workers.  Today’s events once again throw a spotlight onto the woeful disregard for health and safety protocols and building regulations in Iran today.  Such is the scale of this morning’s tragedy that there are calls from many people in Tehran for the resignation of Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
It has been reported that firefighters had continually complained of the lack of attention given by the building’s management to fire safety precautions and protocols.
“We had repeatedly warned the building managers about the lack of safety of the building,” fire brigade spokesman Jalal Malekias said, adding that it even lacked fire extinguishers.
“Even in the stairwells, a lot of clothing is stored and this is against safety standards.  The managers didn’t pay attention to the warnings,” he said.
The initial reports of this tragedy point to this being one more example of the precarious situation that exists in Iran with regard to basic health and safety practice, building regulations and the proper protection afforded to working people in Iran – in this case, firefighters.
CODIR Assistant General Secretary, Jamshid Ahmadi, gave voice to many of the feelings of those in the UK in expressing his condolences to the families affected by the tragedy.
“This a tragedy which has resulted in suffering on a huge scale which could have been avoided”, said Mr Ahmadi.  “Many firefighters, who have to risk their lives regularly to save others, have fallen victim, alongside those working in the building itself, to shoddy practices and poor regulation in Iran.  We know that the Fire Brigades Union in the UK have expressed solidarity with their colleagues and their families at this sad time.  We urge all other trade unionists to do likewise.”
CODIR, which has campaigned for over 30 years to highlight trade union and human rights abuses in Iran, will continue to support the rights of the Iranian people and highlight injustice.
Note for Editors
Contact Information:-
Postal Address:
Further information for Editors
CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights.  It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
CODIR has worked closely with the trade union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iran’s prisons.
In Britain CODIR enjoys the support of a large section of the trade union movement.  UNISON, NUT, NASUWT, UCU, FBU and RMT are affiliated to CODIR.
CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.
In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.
Jane Green
National Campaigns Officer
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.