Tehran Metro head Hashemi resigns
The head of Tehran's Metro, Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, has resigned due to lack of funding for the development of the capital's subway system, Press TV reported.
In a Friday letter to Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Hashemi Rafsanjani announced his resignation, blaming the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for refusing to allocate USD 1 billion in funding, approved by the Iranian Parliament (Majlis), for expanding the network.
"Despite the support of Majlis, the City Council and Tehran's Municipality for the funding [of the Tehran subway]... and due to different reasons, including foreign sanctions and internal problems, it is not possible to use the funds," he said in the letter.
"The Metro's important plans for the expansion of lines have been subject to delays in procuring equipment due to the government's non-cooperation," Hashemi Rafsanjani added.
Last year, Majlis approved a bill which committed the government to allocate USD 2 billion from the country's foreign currency reserves for developing the subway systems in Tehran and other metropolitans.
Ahmadinejad has refused to disburse the funds, and has said that the government is prepared to take control of the activities of the Tehran Metro.
Lawmakers reacted to Ahmadinejad's plans, saying any change in the management of Tehran's Metro must be approved by Parliament.
Between 2 and 2.5 million Iranians use the Tehran Metro every day.
The Tehran Metro consists of four operational lines crisscrossing Tehran, with construction underway on two other lines.