Iran Cracks Down On Water Protests
Hundreds of Iranian Arabs took to the streets on July 11 to protest water shortages in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran.
According to Khakzadegan, a local Arab Telegram channel, the protests started because of water shortages.
Locals demanded their water rights and the blockage of dams. They gathered peacefully outside the Governor’s building, demanding authorities to respond to the water problems. The state-run Mehr News website also wrote locals gathered peacefully to demand their water rights and water shortages for livestock.
They chanted that “We were looted in the name of religion”, “We will not leave our ancestors lands”, and “No to drying our rivers, no to leaving our lands”.
Security forces surrounded the locals and detained many of the participants in the water protests.
Three of the detained were identified as Fahad and Esmaeel Abidavi, and Seyed Ali Sharifi.
There are water shortages in Iran’s southwestern areas while the summer temperatures have a high of 49°C/120°F in Ahvaz. Iranians blame the water shortages and recent blackouts on the regime’s mismanagement and corruption.
A video shown in late June showed that in Esmailiyeh Rural District in southern Iran, 15 villages have not had running water for seven months. Locals provide water from tankers, wells, and a canal with polluted water.
In early June, the Head of Arvand Kenar District said that 34 villages are facing water problems in the oil-rich Arvand Kenar District in Khuzestan province, southern Iran.
He said the lack of water and drop in water pressure in hot weather is due to the deterioration and breakage of the water infrastructure network.
In early July, the Saravan representative in Iran’s parliament said that the biggest problem in the southeastern county is a lack of water. Water shortage in the hot summer weather has become a crisis in many of Iran’s provinces.
Water shortage in Iran
Since the start of the hot summer months, many cities and villages in Iran are facing water shortages. Many villages have only limited days of drinking water. Some locals have sold their livestock due to a lack of water.
Last year in Gheyzaniyeh, a rural district in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, locals clashed with security forces when they blocked the roads, demanding running water. Although this district has over 300 oil wells, it is one of the most poverty-stricken areas in Khuzestan province. One of the main problems of the residents is drinking water deprivation.