MEK: Iran’s Natural Disaster
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that natural resource neglect in Iran has driven many individuals across the country, particularly in the southern region of Khuzestan, to take to the streets and criticise officials for failing to protect these national riches. The people of Khuzestan are protesting for the 14th day in a row today, on World Nature Conservation Day.
Natural disasters in Khuzestan
Environmental experts and officials blame the recent natural disasters in Khuzestan on the government’s financial incentives. They specifically emphasise former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s contribution in drying the Hour ol-Azim, or Hawizeh Marshes.
According to evidence and official statements, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) plundering methods resulted in the devastation of Hawizeh Marshes under Ahmadinejad’s presidency. The IRGC did, in fact, dry the wetlands as part of a contract with a Chinese firm.
People are experiencing acute water shortages
While the province has several important rivers, including the Karun, Karkheh, Dez, Maroun (Jarrahi), Shavur, Zohreh (Hendijan), Bahmanshir, and Arvandroud, it is currently experiencing severe water scarcity. People are experiencing acute water shortages not only for agricultural lands and livestock farms but also for drinking and hygiene purposes.
Drying the Hour ol-Azim
The crisis, on the other hand, is not limited to a lack of drinking water. Residents of Khuzestan also endure regular sandstorms, a problem with dry particles such as dust and smoke, ongoing power outages, sewage spilling into the streets and people’s homes, and a lack of essential infrastructures, which leads to flash floods after any rainstorm.
The Hour ol-Azim was dried
Ahmad Reza Lahijanzadeh, the Environment Organization’s deputy for the maritime ecosystem, recently addressed key points. “The Hour ol-Azim was dried in the 2000s according to a licence issued by a high-ranking security council in favour of a Chinese company for extracting petroleum,” he claimed, omitting to name the mystery ‘high-ranking security council.’
“In the 2000s, the circumstances changed, and Chinese companies were given access to projects. Another tragic event occurred in 2018, when [Chinese] businesses were granted permission to work in non-aqueous environments,” he continued.
The mysterious ‘high-ranking security council’
Furthermore, the mysterious ‘high-ranking security council’ is the Supreme National Security Council, which is in charge of practically all domestic and international matters. The President appoints the members of this council, which is headed by Khamenei.
Previously, environmental activist Mohammad Darvish claimed that the Oil Company and the Oil Ministry were to blame for the destruction of the Hawizeh Marshes. “They dried the marshes so a Chinese contractor could extract petroleum,” he explained.
Crime against the region’s ecosystem and people
The government’s decision on the Hour ol-Azim marches is seen by local locals and dissidents as a crime against the region’s ecosystem and people. They claim that state-owned businesses, particularly the IRGC, have enriched themselves at the expense of civilians’ health and safety.
In essence, the Iranian people have nothing to lose. Protests are seen as the most effective way for them to reclaim their natural rights and a share of the country’s natural riches. As a result, despite a brutal crackdown on unarmed protestors in Khuzestan and other places, not only have the protests not died down, but they have quickly spread to neighbouring provinces.