Zakani, the Incompetent and Ineffective Mayor

Saeed Aganji
7 Min Read
Zakani, the Incompetent and Ineffective Mayor

Zakani is an inefficient and incompetent mayor

Zakani, the inefficient and incompetent mayor, according to Iran Gate’s tweet, is one of those historical phrases that can be recorded in history forever. It is clear that in the years to come, reference will be made to this period, and the era of Zakani’s mayoralty will be remembered as the establishment of an extravagant and incapable mayor in the streets of paradise.

The strong reaction of the newspaper Hamshahri, which has turned into Zakani’s personal page, to Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi’s tweet, the Minister of Communications of Hassan Rouhani’s government, has faced the reactions of users on social media in recent days. These reactions indicate the anger and concern of the people about the performance of Ibrahim Raeisi’s government and Alireza Zakani as the mayor of Tehran.

Who is an incompetent mayor?

Iran Gate has taken a look at the list of mayors of the largest cities in the world and found that there is no metropolis in the world that is managed by someone with irrelevant qualifications. The only exception among them is the capital of Iran, where an incapable person with a background in nuclear medicine has been placed at the helm.

Although Iran Gate has previously addressed multiple discrepancies in Alireza Zakani’s educational documents, assuming these documents are flawless, it can still be said that appointing Alireza Zakani as the mayor of Tehran is a mistake and unreasonable. On the other hand, this action by the city council is also illegal and illegitimate because the articles of association of this institution emphasize the necessity of the mayor’s education being relevant to urban management, and disregarding it is considered a violation of the law. That’s why it is said that Zakani’s appointment to this position is completely illegal and illegitimate.

For this reason, the term ‘non-mayor’ has been used to describe the situation of the Tehran municipality under Zakani’s leadership. Naturally, a non-mayor is someone who sits behind the desk without having the slightest expertise in urban management. Prominent figures such as Khalil Soqafi (1289 AH), Hashem Arsalan Khal’atbari (1330 AH), Ahmad Nafisi (1341 AH), Seyyed Ziaeddin Shadman (1344 AH), Mohammad Ali Safari (1331, 1332, 1346 AH), Gholamreza Nikpay (1348-1356 AH), Mohammad Tousi (1357 AH), Gholamhossein Karbaschi (1368-1377 AH), and Morteza Alviri (1378 AH) relied on that expertise.

Even many conservatives believe that Alireza Zakani is not only comparable to the prominent mayors Tehran has seen, but also cannot be considered in the same league as figures like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. These individuals have had a remarkable performance in Tehran’s municipality and are known as weak mayors.

What was Azari Jahromi’s intention?

About a month ago, a government institution reported the crisis of over 16,000 buildings in Tehran. This news, which exploded like a bomb in the media, intensified concerns about the capital’s situation in the face of crises such as earthquakes.

The tweet of the former Minister of Communications of the Islamic Republic of Iran also refers to this news, as Zakani had previously stated that all unsafe buildings should be demolished. The tragedy that occurred in Kermanshah was the result of controlled demolition of illegal buildings. Despite the evacuation of these buildings, 5 compatriots lost their lives, and it is said that a large number of Afghan immigrants are buried in the basement of one of these buildings. However, the municipality has made no mention of this tragedy.

زاکانی؛ ناشهردار پررو و ناکارآمد
زاکانی؛ ناشهردار پررو و ناکارآمد

However, Azari Jahromi, referring to this tragedy and comparing it to the statistics and figures related to unsafe buildings in Tehran, considered the presence of the mayor on Behesht Street more dangerous than the existence of unsafe buildings in the capital. This is because if an incompetent person like Zakani had not been appointed to the position, these unsafe buildings would have claimed fewer victims and a new tragedy would not have occurred.

Dispose of trash, stick the billboard.

One of the readers of Iran Gate, who lives in Tehran, has provided the reporters of Iran Gate with images of the streets of the capital, indicating the inefficiency of the garbage collection system in this metropolis. This citizen, who resides in Shahrak-e Gharb neighborhood, reports the overflow of garbage and the accumulation of pests in the area, despite the installation of some mechanized garbage bins in recent months.

On the other hand, the images also show that the Tehran Municipality has not collected the garbage on time and at regular hours, and a large volume of waste accumulates daily in Telenbar Alley and Borzaneh Avenue. As mentioned, the number of mechanized garbage bins does not match the number of residential and commercial units in this area, and many irregularities in the actions of municipal officers in collecting garbage are also reported.

This incident is another example of the incompetence and lack of expertise of an unqualified and inexperienced individual in the position of mayor of Iran’s largest city, Zakan. Not only can his footprint be seen in the ideological billboards and childish design throughout the city, but now he has also put people’s lives at risk.


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Saeed Aganji is a journalist and researcher specializing in Iranian affairs. He has served as the editor-in-chief of the student journal "Saba" and was a member of the editorial board of the newspaper "Tahlil Rooz" in Shiraz, which had its license revoked in 2009.