PortandTerminal.com, May 11, 2019
Bandar Abbas is Iran’s main port of entry and traces its history back to over 2,500 years ago during the reign of Darius the Great. It is also where much of the action will take place if war breaks out between Iran and the United States any time soon.
The city is strategically located on the narrow Straits of Hormuz, the choke point of global oil shipments from the Middle East. Approximately 35% of the world’s seaborne oil shipments and 20% of oil traded worldwide passes through it annually. Not surprisingly given its strategic importance, Bandar Abbas is the headquarters for both the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.
Human Rights in Iran
Iran’s abysmal treatment of its citizens will always be the elephant in the room in any discussion about the place. Iran is believed to execute the most number of people per capita globally.
Lots of things can get you executed in Iran. Being gay, smuggling drugs and a whole host of other crimes are punishable by death. The New York Times reported that 1,500 people were executed in Iran in 2015. As of February 2018, there were at least 80 juveniles on death row in Iran.
Hanging is the most common method of execution and is often held in public despite a 2008 judicial moratorium on public executions. There were however a reported 63 public executions in 2013, five years after the “moratorium” was put in place.
Under certain circumstances, the condemned are flogged before being hanged, and at least one individual has was shot by a firing squad and then hanged. Public execution by stoning is not unheard of in Iran as well.
There are severe restrictions on freedom of speech and the press (including the imprisonment of journalists), and restrictions on freedom of religion and gender equality in Iran too.
The City of Bandar Abbas
Bandar Abbas is a small, poor city with a population of just 527,000 people – tiny versus the capital Tehran’s 8.3 million people. Think of it as the Flint, Michigan of Iran as you learn more about it below.
The city got its big chance for development in the second half of the 1970s under the shah. The shah’s vision was to turn Bandar Abbas into a hub of shipping in the Persian Gulf, but the 1979 Islamic Revolution and then the war with Iraq (1980-1988) disrupted the process.
Today, according to official estimates, 46 percent of the population of Bandar Abbas, live in decayed urban areas and unauthorized dwellings.
“Poverty in the city is so heavy that even the government-supported Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation has raised its voice in protest”
According to law enforcement officials, the top social ills in the province include: “drug addiction,” “personal quarrels,” “unemployment,” “motorcycle theft” and “family disturbances.”
Part 2 of 3: Port City in Profile – Bandar Abbas, Iran. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll look at the Bandar Abbas Port in detail and the role it will likely play if a war between the United States and Iran breaks out.
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