Iran’s disabled veterans lack services, access

A man helps a veteran of the war between Iraq and Iran during Friday prayers in Tehran, Jan. 5, 2007. (photo by REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi)

The complaints of disabled Iranian veterans and their families are generally related to the activities of daily life. These simple rituals can become extremely complicated without accommodations for their disabilities. Mobility and access to medication and mental health care have become major challenges for many disabled veterans.

Mohammad Esfandiari, director of communications and public relations of Iran’s Martyrs and Disabled Veterans’ Organization, announced the latest numbers of surviving veterans in June 2014: 548,499 disabled veterans of the Iran-Iraq war are currently living in Iran. This number includes the victims of Iraq’s chemical weapon attacks on Iran.

According to official statistics, the number of mentally disabled veterans and those who suffer from PTSD is increasing. Some of them are increasingly showing signs of mental issues, and others’ mental health conditions have worsened with age.

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