Social media reacted at a campaign meant to boycott “substandard and expensive” Iranian-made cars and the supporters of this campaign have ended up being accused of anti-revolutionary treason.
The Iranians complained about the industry being dominated by car producers Khodro and Saipa, after the foreign makers exited the country.
A user of Telegram named Vali wrote that Iran’s automakers “have put profit before their conscience. The lives of many have been lost to technical faults.”
Police said that faulty cars are partly to blame for 20.000 people dying on Iran’s roads each year.
Deputy police chief, Eskandar Momeni, stated that although domestic vehicles have features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes,“the safety of these cars is not satisfactory and this is because of a lack of competition and supervision in domestic manufacturing”.
Iranian officials stated that domestically produced cars have created many jobs and that they are also cheaper than the imported ones.
The trade, mining and industry minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh has recently declared that “creating and supporting campaigns not to buy cars is treason to the national interests”. He the added that “this campaign is wrong and sinful and anti-revolutionary and it would inflict damage on the domestic economy.”
Twitter user Hassan Mostafavi wrote on the topic that “Imposing substandard, expensive and unexportable cars on the nation is treason to the people and Iran’s industry”.
Moreover, several newspapers insisted that people should be free not to choose Iranian cars. President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, asked the minister to treat the critics with due respect.