Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, April 25, 2020—A large number of farmers from across Isfahan Province in central Iran rallied in the city of Isfahan outside the local Water Department protesting illegal extractions from Zayandeh Rud River by various regime-linked industries.
These farmers, rallying on Saturday, April 25, are also protesting the implementation of illegal projects and regime officials taking authority away from the local farmers’ organizations on how to correctly distribute the waters of Zayandeh Rud River.
The protesters were holding various signs expressing their specific demands:
“We will get our water rights, even at the cost of our lives”
“For us farmers the lack of water in the summer season, not having produce and our trees drying is tantamount to the novel coronavirus.”
“We want Zayandeh Rud River alive”
“Why is the leftover water allocated to farmers, but others are receiving their share with networks of pipes?”
“The government ordered a fund to compensate the farmers who have suffered damages. Why hasn’t such a fund been established?”
“The City council issued orders to sign a contract with the Farmers’ Organization to fix the river. Why are these measures hindered?”
“If based on the justified water distribution regulations the Energy Ministry has no right to demand money from the farmers, why are they doing so?”
“Mr. Habibi, head of the local judiciary, did you not say we shouldn’t hold protest rallies and file complaints to receive our share of the river water? What happened? Where is my Zayandeh Rud?”
Farmers in Isfahan have a history of holding such protest rallies regarding Zayandeh Rud River and their water rights.
Around 2,000 farmers of the Khorasgan district in Isfahan Province, central Iran, rallied on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at the famous Khaju Bridge in the city of Isfahan. A large number of women were also seen attending this gathering, as participants demand authorities open the flow of Zayanderud River so the farmers can provide water for their lands and go on with their lives.
Farmers of Isfahan were seen clashing with anti-riot units dispatched to the massive protest rally. The Iranian regime’s oppressive state police took measures to prevent the farmers’ demonstration and even resorted to shooting birdshots. The farmers were seen chanting, “Coward, coward,” and ridiculing the regime’s security units.
Authorities had dispatched anti-riot units from the early hours of that morning, aiming to prevent the rally from expanding further.
One of the farmers said, “We have come to get what is rightfully ours. Nothing else. This government must give us what is rightfully ours and we’ll go home. If we receive our share of river waters, we’ll go home. Each day they provide new but hollow promises. Until when do they want to just give promises? Enough is enough. Return the Zayanderud River to us. We don’t want a tunnel or a dam. Just give us the water in our wells. Give us the water from Zayanderud River. Nothing else.”