TEHRAN: “I might have problems with my current education” because of the power cut, said Mahdi, a graduate student at the University of Tehran in Iran.
Blackouts have been brought under the spotlight since the last days of May in different parts of Iran. Students ranging from primary schools to universities, who have already been forced to take online classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are all affected. “We haven’t been able to take classes regularly after the outbreak of the pandemic and we don’t have electricity now,” Mahdi said, who declined to reveal his full name.
“The teacher herself was absent because of the power shortages,” he added.
Out of the four times Mahdi went to his former school for a document he desperately needed to continue his study, there were power shortages three times, and once he even failed to access the internet. For Maryam, who lives in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, the blackouts have created more obstacles for her family as it is now almost impossible to take her 98-year-old father out of home since he can only leave the house using the lift.
As the power cuts happen irregularly, “I fear that if something awful happened and he needed to be transported outside the house, we wouldn’t be able to do it quickly,” said Maryam, who also asked not to reveal her full name. In the past few days, her mother fainted once during the blackouts because of the hot weather, she told media. The capital Tehran and many other large Iranian cities have experienced multiple power outages during the past few days. Officials blamed the blackouts on a natural gas shortage, a prolonged drought that disturbed the hydroelectricity plants, and the bitcoin mining in the country.
According to a recent report published by the blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, about 4.5 percent of all bitcoin mining globally between January and April took place in Iran, prompting the government to conduct a nationwide crackdown on illegal bitcoin miners.