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Khuzestan: Fourth day of protests over water shortages

Protests in Khuzestan province over water shortages - July 2021
Protests in Khuzestan province over water shortages - July 2021

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, July 19, 2021—On Sunday night, the people of Iran’s Khuzestan province returned to the streets to resume their protests over severe shortages of water during the hot summer season. Protests were reorted in the cities of Ahvaz, Susangerd, Kut Abdollah, Shush, Karkheh, Jofeir, Abdulkhan, Seyyed Abbas, Shaver and many others.

Protesters chanted anti-regime slogans and blocked roads. Instead of solving the water crisis, which is endangering all life in the province, the regime has dispatched security forces to quell the protests. Security forces opened fire on protesters killing and injuring several people. The identity of three victims have so far been confirmed, including a 17-year-old boy, but the casualties are likely to be higher.

 

 

Despite the heavy presence of security forces, the people have not backed down and continue their demonstrations.

The tense situation in Khuzestan has caused concern among Majlis (parliament) members. During Sunday’s session, several MPs tried to distance themselves from the conditions in Khuzestan and lay the blame on the government. Meanwhile, they all warned against the tension building into another widespread uprising.

Mohammad Molavi, MP from Abadan, said, “Khuzestan is getting crushed… Khuzestan is getting destroyed and mismanagement is rampant. The fact that [the Rouhani government] is issuing a report at the end of its mandate is of no use. The report is laying the blame on nature, low precipitation, and hot weather. Talk about your own mismanagement. You have destroyed the social assets.”

 

 

Majid Naseri Nejad, MP from Shadegan, warned about uprisings and said, “We expected the Majlis presidium to convene an emergency session on the situation in Khuzestan… The head of state must come here and answer, the highest authority in the government must come here… How much longer do we have to wait for crises and problems, for the enemy to come here and cause riots. We are in a worrying situation. The enemy is devising plots and is trying to cause riots in Khuzestan.”

MP Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash tweeted, “Be very careful about the incidents in Khuzestan! It smells like blood.”

But as far as the people are concerned, all regime officials and their corrupt policies are to blame for the situation. In some areas, the protesters have rallied in front of the houses and offices of Majlis members and other authorities and are chanting anti-regime slogans.

 

 

The state-run Vatan-e Emrooz newspaper also tried to lay the blame on the outgoing Rouhani government and refrained from acknowledging the endemic problems that are plaguing the entire society. In an article titled, “Crisis, the legacy of Rouhani,” the state-run daily wrote, “The main question is, why have the unprivileged classes and the impoverished people become the main force of protests and riots during the Rouhani government’s tenure?

“The resurgence of street protests in the past eight years, especially the past two years, are indicative f the radical reaction by the unprivileged segments of the society, which have been the greatest victims of government policies.

“Regardless of what caused the protests—whether it was gasoline prices or water shortage crisis—we can see public disappointment in the protests…

“The crisis-ridden picture of Khuzestan might reflect the dissatisfaction in part of the society, but we can see the same problems in other sectors, including housing, employment, etc. and other parts of the country.”