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IRAN: Official accuses Iranians of laziness

April 7, 2010 |  7:53 am

Iranians snow Oh, those lazy Iranians.

Say what?

A mid-ranking government official in Esfahan has riled the national psyche by proclaiming: “Iranians are lazier than the average people in the world.”

One wouldn’t think so given the steady buzz of news, including street protests, political battles over subsidy cuts and the perpetual brinkmanship and diplomacy with the international community over the country’s nuclear program. But Mohammad Reza Javadi Yegane believes his countrymen have become sloths since the days of the Islamic Revolution.

The semi-official news agency Tabnak cited Yegane, a member of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, in reminding its readers that three years ago Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that “social laziness is the inner foe of Iranians.”

Some businessmen agree. Mostafa Bromandi, owner of a printing house, said: “My workers are lazy. Out of the eight hours I pay them, they only work two hours.... The more educated, the lazier. My accountant has a BA degree. He is the laziest white-collar worker.” 

A barber found such accusations a bit curious "On the one hand," he said, "the government complains that the holidays in Iran are the longest in the world. On the other hand .. when unrest was fomenting in Tehran in the postelection, the government announced more holidays." 

Maryam, a bookkeeper who wouldn’t give her last name, said: “Yes, Yegane is right. If we were not suffering from social laziness we should have toppled this incompetent and inefficient government.”

-- Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

Photo: Iranians in the snow on Mount Tochal overlooking Tehran. Credit: Associated Press