Skip to main content

Disabled Iranians on tough terrain as hurdles persist

Iran was late to the table in passing a law on the rights of the disabled, and oversight is not required.
Computer teacher Behnam Soleimani makes his way along an uneven sidewalk in Tehran, July 17, 2017.

“Passing laws in support of disabled Iranians has turned into a political pose,” said Ali-Hemmat Mahmoudnejad, executive director of the Council for Iranian People with Disabilities, in December, explaining that although a law to protect disabled Iranians had been passed more than five years ago in 2018, it had still not been implemented.

Iran was late to the table in passing a law on the rights of the disabled, and even then, the law was not sanctioned — meaning oversight is not required — civil activists note. Criticizing Iranian officials’ continued inaction on the rights, needs and demands of the disabled, many activists accuse politicians of promising more and better amenities while in search of votes, but after getting elected, throwing such promises out the window.

“I’m physically exhausted, but the mental anguish bothers me more,” said Majid, a social worker who has used a wheelchair since the age of five.

“I use public transportation for my work commute because that’s all I can afford. Most metro stations are not accessible for people like me, so I have to take a much longer route to use the ones that are accessible,” he told Al-Monitor. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.