During the first Conference of Mayors and Councillors in Tehran, Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran’s Minister of Communications emphasized on the importance of working towards having smart cities in the country.

It seems that Iran’s government is seizing the opportunities which “smart cities” could bring for the people of the country more than ever. With the rapid growth of the urban areas in Iran, Rouhani’s government is focusing more on the ICT infrastructure to improve the quality of life in the country.

“There are four reasons that oblige cities to become smart. The rapid growth of technology, especially ICT, complexity of human life in the big cities, productivity increase and offering better services to people,” cited Iran’s Minister of Communications during the first Conference of Mayors and Councillors in Tehran. Vaezi stated that the ICT subject became one of the development priorities in the country by the current government while mentioning the steps which President Rouhani’s administration took to further strengthen the internet infrastructure in Iran.

Iran’s Minister of Communications also emphasized on the elimination of regulatory barriers for the development of ICT in the country. “Now that the world is moving towards the Internet of Things and [the fact that] IOT will replace all activities, we must be prepared today to make regulations for these changes,” added the Iranian Minister. Recently it was announced that the City of Mashhad is piloting a plan to issue 4 million NFC cards which act as an ID card and a micro payment wallet for the residence of the city. The government is planning to launch the service in other cities of the country once the project passes its beta phase.

“Currently 21 thousand villages are now connected to the Internet and by the end of the current government, all villages with more than 20 households will be equipped with high-speed Internet,” stated Vaezi. “During the past year, 210 knowledge-based companies received over 100 billion Tomans (approximately 30 million dollars) of grant for the development of ICT from the Ministry of Communications,” added Vaezi.

In other related news, The second “Smart City investment and infrastructure” seminar is going to take place on the 23rd and 24th of August 2016 in Tehran. According to the organizers of the event, smart tech startups will be given a booth at the event to showcase their products. Stay tuned for more news from this event.

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