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1.3 Million Old Cars Need To Be Decommissioned

A common traffic jam in Tehran, Iran.

Hadi Bahadori, a member of Iranian parliament’s commission for construction, says the National Center for Fuel Consumption has decided to decommission 400,000 old cars in 2017.

“There are 1.3 million worn-out vehicles in Iran that should be decommissioned in the next three to four years,” he said.

He pointed out that because the majority of these cars are owned by the poor working class -- who require vehicles to make a living -- the government should step in.

“The owners of these vehicles do not have the necessary financial means to decommission and replace them,” he said. “Therefore, they need assistance from the proper institutions.”

Meanwhile, Bahadori bitterly criticized the lack of proper facilities to assist the owners.

The government launched a plan to decommission old vehicles in early 2000, but reports indicate it hasn’t seen favorable results.

Stringent import restrictions and high customs duties since the Iranian revolution, have made new cars expensive. Iran re-assembles a limited number of foreign cars, but these are either sub-standard or sold at high prices.

A total of “900,000 worn-out vehicles have been decommissioned in the four years of Hassan Rouhani’s first term as president,” said Masoumeh Ebtekar, head of the Environment Protection Organization.

Seventy percent of air pollution in Iran can be traced back to vehicles such as personal cars and motorcycles, according to environmental authorities.

The Comprehensive Project for Reducing Air Pollution, which was ratified in 2011, reduced the age limit for all vehicles except for taxis, which are allowed 10 years in service.