Iran leader criticizes rich kids after deadly car crashes

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized fast-driving wealthy youngsters Sunday for creating “psychological insecurity” on the streets after two high-speed accidents killed five people.

Addressing an audience of police chiefs, Khamenei said officers needed plans to deal with drivers who speed, and suggested such fatalities were a product of privilege and disregard for others.

“I hear that young people from the generation of wealth, a generation intoxicated by their money, are driving luxury cars and parading in the streets, making the streets insecure,” he said, quoted by his website www.Khamenei.ir.

“This is an example of psychological insecurity,” Khamenei added, alluding to well-publicized crashes in Tehran in the past week.

In the first deadly incident in the early hours of Tuesday, a one-time national racing champion, Hamid Reza Kamali, and two of his friends died at high speed in a BMW, media reported.

State television showed traffic camera footage of the crash involving Kamali and three passengers — none of whom was thought to be wearing a seat belt.

The video showed at least one person being thrown out of the convertible by the impact.

The car was thought to be traveling at more than 200 kilometers per hour (125 mph), and the smash also injured three people from another car.

The sole survivor from Kamali’s vehicle, a close friend, told the daily newspaper Jamejam that the former racer had been driving but was “not under the influence.”

A second deadly crash saw a young girl killed, also early Tuesday, when she lost control of a Porsche Boxster sports car and smashed into trees lining Shariati Avenue in northern Tehran.

The car’s owner, a young man who was in the passenger seat at the time, later died in hospital from his injuries.

The car had been going so fast that it only stopped 500 meters (yards) after the first impact, according to a Fire Department official.

Despite having a good road network, Iran has a poor safety record with almost 20,000 deaths a year, predominantly caused by drivers who ignore basic driving rules and conduct.

Recent years have also seen the appearance in major cities, especially in Tehran, of expensive and powerful foreign-made luxury cars imported at high cost by wealthy Iranians.


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