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EghtesadOnline: Iran's standing with global standardization organizations is improving and efforts to instill regulations to protect consumers are accelerating, say government officials.

The country's standing is improving rapidly among the global standards community. The Institute of Standards & Industrial Research of Iran has risen to 27th from 31st place among International Standards Organization rankings in the past three years, according to ISIRI head, Nayyereh Pirouzbakht.

ISIRI commemorated World Standards Day on October 17, with First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri and Minister of Justice Mostafa Pourmohammadi in attendance, IRNA reported.

"The government wishes to expand ISIRI's activities and there is a lot of work to be done," said Jahangiri.

"One area is applying standards to imports and banning entry of unsafe products, similar to what is done in Europe and other advanced economies.

But this requires a change in ISIRI's operations. The organization should outsource some tests and inspections to the private sector."

Jahangiri noted that its resources are limited for it to carry out all that is wanted of it by itself.

"If we want ISIRI to do inspections and everything else, it is impossible. Especially in issues concerning public safety," he said.

The vice president also asked that a "culture for standards be promoted," by which he was referring to consumers' little concern for safety and quality when it comes to making purchases.

Jahangiri believes that should be changed through state spending on educating the public, though this disregard for quality may also be due to low purchasing power of consumers throughout the years.

ISIRI's relations with its peers is improving at a more rapid pace since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action last year, which led to the removal of international sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran to limit the scope of its nuclear program.

"Our membership of International Bureau of Weights and Measures was suspended after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but it was restored after the JCPOA," said Pirouzbakht. "Now Iranian standard certificates are accepted in 100 countries."

She noted that Iran's standing with ISO has improved in the past three years and there is talk of further improvements.

"There are rumors that Iran's place has been improved a further four places to 23rd, which we hope will be confirmed soon," she said.

The improvements are not all due to JCPOA. ISIRI is speeding up its activities; out of the 30,000 standards the organization has created since its creation in 1947, 11,000 were made in the past three years.

According to Pirouzbakht, it is the leading member among 18 Middle Eastern countries on food and agricultural product standards.

The organization is also combating fraud with the help of the judiciary. Thirty-thousand cases were filed last year for violating standards and dealing with fraudulent merchandise, according to the minister of justice.

Pourmohammadi added that while the effort to combat fraud is necessary and the judiciary is working closely with ISIRI on the issue, the sheer number of fraud cases is alarming as this much criminality damages social trust and must be stopped, reports Financial Tribune.

World Standards Day is celebrated each year on October 14. The day honors the efforts of thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations.

Iran standard standardization Nayyereh Pirouzbakht ISIRI