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New Government, New Blackouts: Officials Blame Consumers for Latest Power Outages

August 10, 2021
2 min read
New Government, New Blackouts: Officials Blame Consumers for Latest Power Outages

Widespread power outages are back with a vengeance across Iran, with officials of the Islamic Republic blaming the hot weather and people’s over-use of air conditioning for the latest blackouts.

In a press conference on Monday, August 9, Mohammad-Hassan Motevalizadeh, managing director of Iran's Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Company, known as Tavanir, said the issue had begun in Tehran before spreading across the country.

“If household consumers do not cooperate by managing their consumption,” he scolded, “we might be forced to impose supply limitations on industrial users in the steel sector.”

The steel sector was unlikely to be at the forefront of anyone’s minds after 72 hours in which electricity outages have again blighted cities all over Iran. The latest blackouts also didn’t take place according to the official schedule, reported Tejarat News. Rather, Tehran Power Distribution Company published its usual schedule of possible outages, but had issued no follow-up warning about how extensive they were set to become.

The blackouts have had disastrous consequences for people and local economies in Iran this summer. Patients on oxygen are reported to have died, both in private homes and on hospital wards. Students have missed online exams, and businesses that rely on refrigerators or ICT equipment have had to close up shop.

Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, CEO of the National Electricity Management Company, separately blamed cryptocurrency mining for blackouts over a 24-hour period this weekend. As of now, he said, 210,000 illegal cryptocurrency farms had been discovered in Iran, using up the equivalent output of an 800-megawatt power plant.

On August 10, Rajabi Mashhadi reported that because of domestic shortages, Iran had suspended electricity exports to Iraq. This week Iran apparently only sold 13 megawatts of electricity to Afghanistan compared to 100 megawatts a week ago.

Tavanir had previously stated it was implementing more than 40 different reactive programs to deal with the unprecedented situation in Iran. So far, none seem to have been effective.


Related Coverage:

The Dark Side: How a Corrupt 'Privatization' Drive Led to Blackouts in Iran

Coronavirus in Iran: Power Outages, Black Fungus, and Warnings of a Fifth Surge

What Role has Ayatollah Khamenei Played in Iran's Blackouts?

Ruined Bread to Pitch-Black Hospital Wards: Iranians' Fury at Power Outages

Blackouts in Iran: Why is the Electricity Deficit So High This Summer?

Dispatch from Tehran: Blackouts Leading to Bankruptcy

Fact File: Did Bitcoin Mining Lead to Blackouts in Iran?




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