The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that since July 15, a new round of protests in the southern Iranian province of Khuzestan erupted in response to the water crisis, and officials’ failure to address the people’s problems. Many people took to the streets in numerous locations to express their dissatisfaction with the officials’ attitude.
Oppressive tactics against thirsty citizens
Despite protesters marched and rallied peacefully in front of government buildings, authorities responded by using tear gas and aerial bullets to disperse the enraged protesters.
Oppressive tactics against thirsty citizens, on the other hand, had the reverse impact and enraged protesters.
Blocking access roads in various cities
Protesters began blocking access roads in various cities in order to force officials to settle their issues. Instead, officials turned to live ammunition and targeted unarmed civilians, resulting in at least four deaths and dozens of more injuries.
Naturally, the government used its propaganda apparatus to minimize the protests. Demonstrators were referred to as rioters and separatists by authorities and leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). They said the demonstrators opened fire on themselves in order to damage the Islamic state’s reputation.
The Deputy Provincial Governor blamed demonstrators
Furthermore, Valiollah Hayati, the Deputy Provincial Governor for Security Affairs, dismissed the murder of three people, stating it was fake news propagated by anti-Islamic Revolution activists. He also deflected blame from security personnel to demonstrators, accusing them of murder.
“Only one innocent citizen was killed in recent incidents, and that was because rioters shot at a power transformer,” Hayati stated in an interview with the Asr-e Iran website. “All provincial officials, as well as the ‘diligent’ Governor [Qassem Soleimani Dashtaki], are doing everything they can to manage and mitigate the water crisis.”
People were ignored for many years
Water shortages, on the other hand, are a direct outcome of officials’ mismanagement and failure. “How is it that we drowned two years ago but don’t have access to potable water this year?” Previously, nearly 700 communities had been thrown into disarray due to water shortages.
Currently, there are 900 villages affected, and even cities are experiencing water scarcity,” said Hadi Savari, an activist.
Khuzestan is getting destroyed
“Look at the southern provinces, Khuzestan is getting destroyed, and lack of management is obviously seen… Your government’s report is good for you. In your report, you lay the blame on nature, low rainfall, and high temperature. Speak about your mismanagement and indifference.” On July 18, Mohammad Molavi, an MP from the city of Abadan, remarked, “You have destroyed social assets.”
Another Khuzestan MP, Majid Nasserinejad, slammed the Parliament’s (Majlis) presidium for refusing to convene an emergency session to address the province’s water crisis and protests. “We expected the presidium to arrive today… The situation in Khuzestan is dire. Allow the government’s chief of staff to come here and address these issues. “The president [Rouhani] must respond here,” Nasserinejad stated.
Open all the water in Khuzestan
A member of the Majlis’ Security and Foreign Affairs Commission, Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash, underlined the authorities’ concern as well as the water crises’ implications for the entire regime. He urged officials to address the issue as soon as possible before it’s too late.
“I advise you to pay close attention to the events in Khuzestan!!! The smell of blood and conspiracy abounds. On July 17, he tweeted, “Open all the water in Khuzestan to quench both thirst and fire.”