MEK: Calling for a Regime Change
Early Monday, activists reported that protests that began in southwestern Iran last week have spread to the capital Tehran, defying the regime’s efforts to suppress the upheaval with a security force raid.
Protest in Tehran
On that day, protesters went to the streets in numerous areas of the capital. Hundreds of protesters blocked roadways to suppress oppressive forces from coming and chanted slogans against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Protests began earlier this month in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan in the southwest. Parts of the province are experiencing major water and power shortages due to the mismanage of the mullahs. Iran’s hydropower network is collapsing under the strain of drought and decades of official incompetence and corruption, according to regime critics.
Deliver water via tanker
The provincial water and electricity agency is compelled to deliver water via tanker to around 1000 communities throughout the province, which is obviously insufficient and, in many cases, does not even satisfy one day’s needs.
About a third of the country’s current water resources should flow naturally to Khuzestan province, but since the early 1980s, various destructive projects in the Karun and Dez springs have been implemented, and now a large portion of the water from these two rivers is directed to the provinces of Isfahan and Yazd.
The transfer of Khuzestan water
Many residents of this province believe that one of the most significant causes of water scarcity is the transfer of Khuzestan water to Iran’s central plateau. Furthermore, the mismanagement of water supplies has aggravated the drought, leaving the populace thirsty.
People on the street calling for the regime’s overthrow
Hadi, a 49-year-old engineer, claimed to be one of “thousands” of people on the street calling for the regime’s overthrow and Khamenei’s death. Despite the presence of security officers, there were no reports of violence.
“There is no end to these protests,” Hadi remarked, adding that the protests had expanded beyond water scarcity. “I believe they will go on tonight, tomorrow, and over the next few days… Peace, democracy, and independence are what the Iranian people desire.”
Protests could result in a new government crackdown if they continue. “They are so savage,” Hadi remarked.
The military dispatched
However, with the military dispatched to the southwest to deal with the Khuzestan protests and the government in the midst of a presidential transition, the authorities in Tehran may be more cautious. “They are not interested in showing their violence,” Hadi explained.
According to Amnesty International, at least eight people have been murdered in the protests so far, including at least one police officer.
The 1988 Massacre
Although both Khamenei and outgoing President Hassan Rouhani have acknowledged the demonstrators’ right to protest, the administration has accused criminals, opportunists, and separatists of the violence.
The upheaval comes as President-elect Ebrahim Raisi prepares to assume office next month. Raisi is a hardliner nicknamed “The Butcher” for his role in mass executions while serving as head of the Iranian court in 1988.