Tehran Mayor brands calls for his dismissal ‘slanderous’ and ‘illegal’

4 days ago 22

A petition for the dismissal of Tehran mayor Alireza Zakani, responsible for brutal crackdowns on unveiled women in the capital, has gained over 120,000 signatures.

Zakani slammed the campaign, branding it "entirely slanderous" and "illegal". Addressed to the Tehran City Council, the petition criticizes his management, particularly his controversial decisions to repurpose green spaces for mosques and commercial projects.

In April, tens of thousands of people signed a petition to stop the destruction of Qeytarieh Park, where Zakani's administration planned to construct a mosque.

Last year he was put under sanctions by the UK, US, Canada and Australia "because he is and has been involved in the commission of serious human rights violations or abuses in Iran", including "determining and enforcing mandatory dress codes for women."

In response to the campaign for his dismissal, a group identifying as “faithful and revolutionary youth of the country” launched a counter-campaign on the Karzar website, praising Zakani as “undoubtedly unmatched in uncorruptness and honesty.”

Tehran City Council chairman Mehdi Chamran attempted to downplay the situation, comparing it to unsuccessful efforts to unseat US President Joe Biden. Chamran argued that the large number of signatures alone does not warrant Zakani's removal.

Tehran faces severe challenges such as air pollution, traffic congestion, land subsidence, water shortages, and high housing costs, which many residents believe have worsened under Zakani’s leadership.

The mayor withdrew from the recent presidential race in support of Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Saeed Jalili.

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