People, Environment

Tehran Cycling Event Cancelled

The cycling event was meant to raise awareness about Tehran’s air pollution woes.The cycling event was meant to raise awareness about Tehran’s air pollution woes.

A cycling event scheduled for Tuesday in Tehran to celebrate “Car-Free Tuesdays” was abruptly cancelled due to reasons that have since been denied by the Department of Environment.

According to IRNA, the event was cancelled due to DOE’s failure to coordinate the event with the law enforcement, a claim swiftly denied by Mohammad Darvish, director of the department’s Public Participation Office and a prominent supporter of the “Car-Free Tuesdays” campaign.

Darvish wrote on his personal channel on the smartphone messaging application Telegram: “The event was coordinated with the Commander of Tehran Police Force Brigadier General Hossein Sajedinia. Despite our preparations and the timely presence of attendees, media reporters and security forces, we were told the rally permit had been revoked.”

According to Darvish, security forces were present at the scene to ensure the event took place without a problem, a clear sign that it was organized with relevant authorities.

“Media personalities, celebrities and officials were there along with other residents of Tehran,” he wrote.

Nonetheless, the cyclists started cycling individually and gathered at the finish line, namely Iranian Artists’ Forum. However, none of the scheduled programs was performed at the finish line and the bicycles were taken away, Darvish said, without elaborating whether the bikes were confiscated.

“Mehdi Eftekhari, (a crime prevention and criminal justice officer at the judiciary) who was also present at the event, has promised to pursue the matter,” the official said, adding that another event will be scheduled soon.

The aim of the event was for ordinary citizens and prominent public figures to cycle together to raise awareness about Tehran’s air pollution woes and promote the use of clean modes of transportation, the main goal of the Car-Free Tuesdays campaign.

The campaign was launched last year in Arak, Markazi Province, and has since been adopted by most cities in every province to varying degrees.