Posts Tagged ‘Iran Floods’

Ali Khamenei,Iran Floods,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Khamenei Refuses to Withdraw from Development Fund to Finance Flood Relief Effort

A month after the flash-flood hit large areas of Iran, the regime did not do anything and still is leaving people on their own to deal with the destructive flood.

Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected the possibility of using the country’s development fund to finance flood recovery. He said that funds may be withdrawn only after all other sources have been exhausted. Khamenei has earmarked the development fund for financing the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and military conflict in the region.

The deadly sixteen-day floods are estimated to have caused over $2.2 billion in damages in 25 out of 31 Iranian provinces. Hundreds are believed to have died, thousands lost their homes, and hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the destruction caused by the floods.

MEK-Iran: Floodwaters Spread through Khuzestan while Tens of Thousands of Iranians Still Wait for Disaster Aid

Regime President Hassan Rouhani inquired about using the development fund in a letter to Khamenei because of the regime’s growing alarm at the price of the disaster. The Supreme Leader replied, “You are aware that withdrawing from the development fund is only permitted when all other channels of raising fund are exhausted.”

The “other channels” referred to are components of the nation’s budget, including construction, bank reserves, and insurance. Those resources are intended to be used on services that are already sorely lacking. Iran is in the midst of an economic crisis, and robbing the budget would exacerbate a situation that was already unsustainable before the floods. It’s also uncertain that the budget could withstand a $2.2 billion hit, even if the regime was willing to bring the country to the brink of economic destruction.

Majlis Members Express Concern

The economic damage caused by the floods has caused some members of the regime’s Majlis (parliament) to express concern about the government’s ability to cover the costs of recovery without drawing from the development fund. On Sunday, one member of the Majlis Development Committee was quoted as saying, “The volume of the destruction from the floods is enormous and the government alone is incapable of covering it. So, it is necessary to withdraw from the development funds with the supreme leader’s signature.”

Khamenei Deflects Blame

Khamenei still refuses to consider drawing from the development fund until the country is completely bankrupt, ignoring his own government and the growing anger from the Iranian people, who have taken to the streets in flood-stricken areas to protest the regime’s failure to provide assistance to those whose lives and homes have been destroyed in the disaster.

In a recent meeting with some of his allies, Khamenei feigned sympathy for the flood victims, but he also took the opportunity to warn those in his faction about the threat that the aftermath of the deadly disaster poses to the regime. He made sure reference “enemies” in order to deflect blame from his government’s own actions, a common strategy employed by the regime in times of crisis.

In an April 15th report broadcast on the state-run IRIB news agency, Khamenei said, “We should be aware and walk carefully, like someone who is crossing a narrow road with deep cliffs around it. You must look at each step you take. You must know that the ‘enemies’ [the MEK and the U.S.] are increasingly plotting against us.”

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Iran Floods,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Protests in flood hit aread

Regime’s Suppression of Flood Protests Points to Fear of Widespread Rebellion

Protests in flood hit aread

Protests grows in flood-hit areas due to lack of aid and using mercenaries to disperse the people’s anger.

Protests have broken out in flood-stricken areas across Iran in response to the regime’s failure to provide assistance to its people during and after the deadly floods that affected 25 out of 31 of the nation’s provinces. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the MEK have reported on protests in Ahvaz and Poldokhtar.

No Help from the Regime

The catastrophic floods washed through Iran over a sixteen-day period ending earlier this month, leaving a path of death and destruction in their wake. After the first wave of floods, people were left stranded on rooftops waiting for help that never came. As the second wave of floods approached, the regime refused to issue evacuations or create flood barriers. Before the third round of floods, regime officials called for evacuations, but people in affected areas were not told where or how to evacuate. Many residents of areas hit in the final wave of flooding were forced to flee to neighboring hilltops. Regime officials later blamed them for not evacuating to non-existing “safe areas.”

The people of Iran did their best to survive the floods and their aftermath without the assistance of the government. Residents of hard-hit areas created flood barriers by filling bags with sand and rice and sleeping on top of them. Iranian Arab women baked bread for people in need of food, and Iranian children trekked for hours through the mountains to deliver food and supplies to residents in villages where roads were completely blocked by floodwaters.

 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, reiterated that the regime must make the facilities and equipment of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) available to the Iranian people to assist them in their time of need.

 

The regime has ignored these requests and has done little to address the needs of the people in recovering from the floods. Officials who made appearances for photo ops in heavily damaged areas after the floods were met by angry protesters who demanded that they provide assistance or go home. Public outrage grew against the IRGC for its abandonment of flood victims.

The regime responded to these calls for help by sending security forces to prevent protests and demonstrations. People who lost their homes and are still waiting for tents to sleep in have been greeted with armed military forces instead of housing or food. Meanwhile, the regime has refused to allow citizens to provide assistance to each other and has arrested a number of aid workers for helping those in need.

Protests in Flood-Stricken Areas

The Iranian regime’s attempts to suppress protests in order to protect itself from rebellion have backfired. Anger over the regime’s callous disregard for the welfare of its own people has led to a swell of protests. Outside of Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, residents were heard protesting the presence of IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Naghdi. They chanted, “Get out! Ahvaz will remain free!”

Last week, a protest took place in western Ahvaz. Residents in the flood-ravaged area criticized the regime for its failure to construct flood barriers and evacuate marshes before the floods.

The regime has expressed concern that the current protests will lead to a widespread rebellion. The mullahs have been unable to suppress anti-regime protests since the nationwide uprisings in late 2017, and the MEK has grown in influence inside Iran since then. Under the MEK’s leadership, the Iranian Resistance has become larger and more organized, and the threat of regime change has become very real to the mullahs. Decades of oppression and snowballing economic crises have led to growing dissatisfaction with the ruling regime. The government’s colossal failure to provide basic aid to its citizens or show a modicum of compassion after the recent catastrophic floods could easily be the final straw for the Iranian people.

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Human Rights,Iran Floods,MEK,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Ahvaz under flood

Regime Arrests 28 People for Reporting News about Floods

Ahvaz under flood

Khuzestan has been under flooding, since last week, while reports indicate that no aid has been provided by the regime and they have been sending security forces to suppress any voice of protest.

According to regime officials, a total of 28 people have been arrested for reporting news about the recent deadly floods that have devastated Iran.

Arrests in Khuzestan Province

 

24 Internet activists were arrested in Khuzestan Province for their role in publishing news of the floods in the province, according to the head of provincial cyber police, Shahin Hassanvand. Khuzestan was one of the provinces hit hardest by the disaster, and regime officials have withheld vital information about casualties and damage to the region. The news that has been provided has been patently false.

 

A report aired on the state-run ISNA news agency claimed that the activists were arrested for disturbing “public opinion by spreading news and rumors on the floods.”

 

Hassanvand described the process through which the police hunted down the publishers. “Due to the publication of rumors and fake news on the internet which has led to insecurity in the community’s psychological climate, experts of the police forces monitored social platforms and identified 24 internet users who published deviating news and rumors about the flood and disturbed public opinion.” He also noted that the publishers have been referred to the regime’s Judiciary for prosecution.

Arrests in Tehran

The previous week, four people were arrested in Tehran for “spreading rumors” about the regime’s incompetence in its response to the flood, according to the Capital city’s Chief of Police.

A Threat to Security

The Iranian regime has done everything in its power to prevent its people from seeing the full extent of the destruction from the floods and witnessing the colossal failure of the regime’s response in its aftermath. This has proved to be impossible. At least 25 out of Iran’s 31 provinces sustained heavy damage due to the floods, and survivors of the disaster shared videos and pictures on social media of the flood. Public confidence in official reports about the flood eroded quickly as anger mounted over the regime’s failure to provide emergency aid.

 

In late March, as floods raged across the country, regime Attorney General Jafar Montazeri announced that publishing “fake” news (information contrary to official regime reports) about the floods was a violation of national security and that those found in violation would be dealt with for “disrupting the security of the country.”

Human rights groups report that another 11 relief workers were arrested in Khuzestan by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Another 22 rescue workers were arrested in Khuzestan by MOIS agents. The regime has banned all non state-sanctioned aid to flood victims.

Growing Protests

 

Residents of flood-stricken areas have greeted regime officials and IRGC forces who have attempted to visit with angry protests. The regime has responded to these protests with suppressive actions.

 

According to reports from MEK sources inside Iran and videos shared on social media, the regime sent security forces to suppress dissent in Khuzestan in response to protests in the Eyn-e Do and Shelang Abad regions in Ahvaz. Other reports indicate that troops from the Fatemiyoun Division, which is comprised of Afghan nationals, were dispatched to Poldokhtar, which was destroyed in the floods.

90 Flood Deaths in One Western Iranian City, According to Internal Police Report

During the floods, Iranians in some areas were stranded on rooftops for days waiting for a rescue that never came. Entire villages were left without food or drinking water. People in Shiraz were left to pull bodies out of the flooded streets. During the final wave of flooding, the regime called for evacuations, but it didn’t tell people where or how to evacuate.

 

Finally, the Iranian government is sending troops to the areas that were destroyed by floods. The regime clearly has the resources to send people and equipment quickly when it feels it is necessary. But even now, with the country in ruins, the mullahs aren’t providing aid. The troops haven’t arrived with boats and supplies. They have come with tanks and guns. And the people are angry.

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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh,Iran Floods,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Flooding in Ahvaz

Leading Iran Expert Accuses the Regime of Downplaying Casualty Figures and Contributing to the Loss of Life in Recent Flooding

Flooding in Ahvaz

The locals in Ahvaz, rushing to block the flash flooding from damaging their farms, as the government seems not to care about them.

Arab News published an op-ed from Dr. Majid Rafizadeh on Sunday, April 14. Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated political scientist and one of the world’s leading experts on Iran and US foreign policy.

The piece, entitled “after the deluge: Iran’s paramilitary looting takes a deadly toll”, criticized the Iranian regime over its response to recent floods and accused it of putting its own interests ahead those of the Iranian people.

Downplaying Casualty Figures

Rafizadeh highlighted the discrepancy between the information being released by the regime and reports coming from the Iranian opposition. “The official death toll from recent massive flooding in Iran stands at 77, but it is more likely that well over 250 people have been killed by the disaster and as a result of bungled relief efforts,” he writes.

In the wake of the flooding, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) revealed that the regime was deliberately withholding accurate reports on the scale of the flood’s damage, including the loss of human life.

The Iranian judiciary, under regime control, was reportedly threatening Iranians with prosecution if they spoke publicly on the full extent of the flood damage.

“Iranian security forces, the military, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are all on the ground in flood-ravaged areas, but are generally more focused on suppressing dissent and preserving the theocratic regime’s reputation than contributing to relief efforts,” Rafizadeh writes.

The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi shared this sentiment. She released a statement accusing the mullahs of doing “nothing but preserving their shameless rule and plundering the people.” For Mrs Rajavi, “national solidarity and cooperation is the only way to confront the flash floods.”

Mismanaging Natural Resources

Rafizadeh was not only enraged by the regime’s flood response, but he also accused the regime of contributing to the flood’s damage by mismanaging Iranian natural resources, engaging in unsafe construction practices and neglecting ecological assessments.

The regime and its IRGC constructed on land alongside waterways, failed to maintain dams and failed to dredge rivers and lakes to allow for an uninterrupted flow of water. These practices, Rafizadeh argues, exacerbated the flooding and led to unnecessary damage and death.

Environmentalists who have tried to raise concerns in recent years have been subject to arrest and tortured. One Iranian-Canadian professor named Kavous Seyed-Emami died in regime custody under suspicious circumstances. Another four environmental activists remain in prison on charges of “spreading corruption on earth.” The charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Exploiting the Flooding to Tighten Suppressive Measures

“Reports indicate hard-liners are presently jostling to exploit the flood damage and further tighten their grip on Iranian commerce and society,” Rafizadeh writes. There have already been reports of the regime moving Afghani, Iraqi and Pakistani mercenaries into flood-stricken areas to quash dissent.

Rafizadeh concluded, “the pain being experienced by the Iranian people is likely to get much worse unless the international community sanctions the IRGC and isolates its activities to such an extent that it becomes impossible to put more Iranian wealth into its hands.”

 

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Maryam Rajavi's statement on the recent flood in Ahvaz and the people's protest

Maryam Rajavi Issues Another Statement Calling for the Military Resources to be Made Available to Flood Victims

Maryam Rajavi's statement on the recent flood in Ahvaz and the people's protest

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition says, the facilities of the military and regime security forces should be made available to the people to help the flood-stricken people.

The regime’s inaction in the face of widespread flooding across Iranian cities prompted yet more protests from the Iranian population. On Friday, April 12, protestors took to the streets in Ahvaz, one of the cities worst affected by the flooding, to air their frustrations with this corrupt and brutal regime.

The protestors chanted slogans aimed at the social and cultural deputy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Mohammad Reza Naghdi, who was visiting the area. They chanted: “Get lost, Ahvaz will remain free!” and “Khuzestan is submerged in water, the authorities are sleeping”, forcing him to leave.

The Regime’s Mismanagement

The protestors accused the Iranian regime of exacerbating the damage and destruction caused by the flooding. The people of Ahvaz protested the regime’s failure to redirect the flood water onto the marshes and flood plains. They also complained about the lack of facilities and resources to construct flood barriers.

The regime has also been utterly absent in providing assistance in the aftermath of the flooding. Victims have been left stranded without access to food and clean water. Rescue efforts to retrieve the bodies of the 200 victims that lost their lives in the flooding have been coordinated by citizens without assistance or resources from the Iranian regime.

Demonstrations continued into the night in some parts of the city.

A Statement from the Iranian Opposition

The president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, made a statement to the Iranian people on Thursday. She urged Iranians to rally together in the face of the national crisis.

She called on the youth of Ahvaz to cooperate and form popular councils to deal with the floods in Khuzestan and other provinces.

In the statement she also undermined that”The facilities of the army, the IRGC and government agencies, engineering machinery, naval boats, supply depots, shelters, and barracks must be provided to the people to be used to prevent floods, protect people’s lives, save the flood victims, and to temporarily resettle them.”

The regime’s forces have helicopters, boats, shelters, engineering equipment, and warehouses that would be of vital importance to the Iranian people in their hour of peril.

Instead, the regime is more inclined to use these resources and facilities to terrorise and suppress the Iranian people. They are depriving people of their basic needs to survive. When the people turn to protests, the regime threatens, arrests and violently quashes any political dissent.

The regime does not have the interests of the people at heart. They are lining their pockets while Iranians fight for survival and respite from the encroaching waters.

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Ahvaz protests Iranian regime's inaction with respect to the flash flood.

Ahvaz Locals Take to the Streets to Protest Government’s Inaction

Ahvaz protests Iranian regime's inaction with respect to the flash flood.

Locals in Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province, take it to the street to protest the inaction and lack of aid from the government institutes despite the devastating situation of the flood-hit areas.

Angry locals in Ahvaz took to the streets on Friday to demonstrate the regime’s lack of action following widespread flooding.

Videos published through MEK network shows protestors gathered in Eyn-e Do, western Ahvaz. Protestors chanted, “they wanted to dishonor us, but we will not be dishonored.” The regime opened dams which allowed floodwaters to wash over their farmland, homes, and businesses. The local population had limited resources and were unable to make flood barriers to protect their assets and livelihoods.

The protestors demanded that the regime redirect the water into Hawizeh Marshes to alleviate the flooding. The regime is refusing to do so to protect its oil interests in the area.

The social and cultural deputy of the repressive Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Mohamad Rezi Naghdi, was visiting Ahvaz and became the object of the protestors’ ire. They chanted: “Get lost, Ahvaz will remain free,” and, “Khuzestan has been swept away by water while officials sleep.”

Locals Feel Like They Have been Abandoned by the Government

Locals have had to rely on community-led projects for assistance. The state-run media outlets falsely reported that the regime has provided assistance to local communities. However, this has not been the case.

The regime has not used the many boats, helicopters, warehouses, shelters and other resources at its disposal to help the victims. Instead, it has used its Basij forces and IRGC to stifle protests and political dissent.

The regime has not even acknowledged the more than 200 Iranians that have lost their lives in the flooding. They remain ardent that the death count is far lower. If the regime will not even acknowledge the full extent of the damage, then it will not make the necessary arrangements to help with the cleanup, rescue, and housing of all the flood’s victims.

The Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), also revealed that the regime’s mismanagement was responsible for exacerbating the flood damage. This was echoed by the country’s Inspection Organization. Naser Saraj, the organization’s head asserted that “mistakes and man-made elements” has contributed to the damage and loss of life.

The regime failed to adequately dredge the draining system left Ahvaz and other towns and cities vulnerable to flooding. This, coupled with unmitigated construction in areas prone to flooding, led to swathes of Ahvaz and Khuzestan province being submerged in the muddy floodwaters.

The regime must be held responsible, both for its incompetence, and its inadequate response to the flooding.

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Ashraf 3,Ashraf III,David Jones,Iran Floods,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Hon. David Jones meets with

British MP Met with Maryam Rajavi at Ashraf III

Hon. David Jones meets with

Hon. David Jones, British MP, Welsh Secretary in David Cameron’s government, and Minister of State for negotiations with the European Union in Theresa May’s cabinet met with Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iran opposition in the MEK’s settlement in Albania (Ashraf III), on Saturday, 6 April 2019A senior member of parliament (MP) from the United Kingdom met with the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, on Saturday, April 6. Mr. David Jones, the Welsh Secretary under former Prime Minister David Cameron and Minister of State for negotiations with the European Union in current Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet, spoke with Mrs. Rajavi at the end of a whirlwind two-day visit to Albania in which he met with several Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) members.

He visited the MEK’s compound, Ashraf III, outside the Albanian capital of Tirana. His visit comes just several weeks after his colleague, Struan Stevenson a former Scottish MEP, released a book about the compound and the Iranian regime’s attempt to demonize and destroy the MEK.

Jones extended his condolences and sympathies to Mrs. Rajavi and her compatriots in Iran following the widespread flooding in recent weeks. He also expressed his support for the MEK and the important work they are undertaking to oppose the regime’s brutality and violence wherever it occurs.

“It has been a great privilege to meet with you and the members of this resistance in Albania,” he said. “I am impressed by the work and efforts of the members of the PMOI (MEK).”

During the meeting, Mr. Jones also expressed his delight with the US Government’s decision to include the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on their foreign terrorist organization blacklist. He reiterated the US State Department’s analysis that the IRGC is a terrorist entity and pose a significant threat to stability in the Middle East and beyond.

A Stronger Effort Stance the UK Government

David Jones called on his own government to apply pressure to the Iranian regime and hold them to account for their failure to provide aid and relief to the flood victims. He urged UK and EU politicians not to remain silent in the face of this blatant suppression of the Iranian people.

Maryam Rajavi responded. She said: “The Iranian regime has not taken any serious steps to aid the people faced with this national disaster and unprecedented tragedy.”

She also welcomed the US government’s listing of the IRGC as a terrorist entity and reminded Mr. Jones that the MEK had been calling for the IRGC’s inclusion on the terror list. She described how the IRGC is not only involved in the regime’s export of terror but also a key component in its campaign of domestic oppression. She asserted that the US State Department should have listed the organization on its terror blacklist long ago.

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Ahvaz under flood

MEK-Iran:7,000 Families are at Risk of Flooding as More Rain is Forecast

Ahvaz under flood

Khuzestan has been under flooding, since last week, while reports indicate that no aid has been provided by the regime and they have been sending security forces to suppress any voice of protest.

Iranian citizens continue to feel the effects of recent rains. The latest estimates indicate around 7,000 families are at risk of flood waters, many in Khuzestan and other Western and Southwestern regions of the country.

Heavy rains on Tuesday have left citizens in major towns without power after floodwater damaged power stations in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan province. With more rain forecast, many families are evacuating their homes in search of safety.

Widespread Destruction

The flooding left more than 6,700 homes damaged, over 200 Iranians dead and 51,000 other homes at risk of rising floodwaters.

Bridges have collapsed, mud has entered public buildings and crops have been ruined. Some villages in Shush and Khuzestan were able to protect their crops with floodgates, but most succumbed to the rising waters.

In such grave conditions, Iranians have looked to their government but found no solace. The mullahs’ regime has been absent in rescue efforts and aid flows to affected areas have been scarce. The brunt of the national rescue efforts has fallen on the Iranians themselves.

Images and videos have circulated on social media of Iranians rallying together to provide support and assistance to affected regions and families. One family posed outside their damaged house with a sign that read ‘thank you for your help.”

This inadequate response to the national crisis prompted demonstrations across Iran last week. The regime responded in typical fashion, threatening demonstrators with violence and channeling resources to repress protesting villagers instead of distributing aid and rescuing vulnerable civilians.

Messages of Solidarity

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, has been extending messages of solidarity to those affected. The leader of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest opposition group, encouraged communities to rally together and for Iranians to lend their support to the flood victims in any way they can.

In a tweet, she wrote: “I urge the freedom-loving youths and members of resistance units and councils to not lose any opportunity in helping the flood-hit families. Help the people organize their popular councils which are the only solution for prevailing over this devastating flood.”

Maryam Rajavi also called on the regime to make the resources of the army and the IRGC available to the public so that they might alleviate some of their sufferings.

With no end to the adverse weather on the horizon, the situation could get worse before it gets better. And without the concern of the Iranian clerical regime, many of those affected will find themselves battling the elements alone.

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Flooding in Ahvaz

Bungled Flood Response Lead to Cause Massive Protests

Flooding in Ahvaz

Photo credit to Iran News Wire-The locals in Ahvaz, rushing to block the flash flooding from damaging their farms, as the government seems not to care about them.

In the aftermath of a series of devastating floods that ravaged more than 27 provinces in Iran, thousands of survivors say that they have been abandoned by the regime. While the Tasnim news agency and other state-run media outlets continue to report that the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Basij Forces, and other regime agencies are providing assistance to flood victims, reports from local residents and dozens of videos shared on social media tell a different story.

Flood Victims in Khuzestan Left without Shelter

The southwestern province of Khuzestan sustained heavy damage from the floods, leaving numerous people homeless and entire towns destroyed. In one video shared on social media, a man broke down sobbing, saying that he had still not received a tent one week after losing his home.

“How much cruelty?! I have been surrounded by water for seven days. They can’t come here and give me a tent?! My sister is sleeping under a tree. Didn’t we participate in the [Iran-Iraq] war to defend our country,” he asked.

“Who should I ask (for help)? Whomever I ask, they say it’s not my responsibility. I asked the IRGC, the army, and the Governor. Who should I ask then?! You give me an address to go wherever you say. Maybe I should kill myself. Why am I even alive?!” he cried.

Other videos show people in Khuzestan making their own flood barriers bags filled with rice and sand.

Pictures show young men sleeping on their homemade barriers to protect them at night.

Women Assist Lorestan Flood Victims

A video from Lorestan Province shows Iranian Arab women making bread for flood victims in the western province.

 

Lorestan Province was among the hardest-hit by the recent floods, and many villages are still inaccessible by roads. Residents in these areas have still not received badly-needed assistance from the regime, so Iranian youth are walking for hours through mountainous terrain to deliver supplies to their countrymen.

Waiting for an Opportunity

The failure of the regime to provide assistance to its people after the deadly floods have led to growing anger among the population. A number of regime officials and state-run media outlets and journalists have expressed concern that this anger could lead to a revolt.

Former regime intelligence official and political strategist Saied Hajarian worried that the regime’s failure to provide flood assistance could lead to distrust in the government.

“We have to take note that the crisis of distrust will lead to a crisis of discredit to the extent that people will prefer neutral foreign arbitrators to their Iranian counterparts,” he said.

In an April 9th interview published on the Fararu website, “reformist” journalist Abbas Abdi warned that the people were already angry with the regime and that the floods would cause additional protests.

“The people are waiting for an opportunity to vent out [their frustration] and what better opportunity than floods and similar incidents,” he added.

The Shoaar Sal website, which is affiliated with the regime, acknowledged that the regime has been negligent in addressing the floods in Lorestan Province, warning that the “people’s increased distrust will have horrifying effects in the future.”

Lack of Public Trust

The Ebtekar daily newspaper, which is closely tied to regime President Hassan Rouhani, wrote that the Iranian people no longer trust state-run media, turning instead to social media for flood-related news. The MEK uses its network inside Iran to share information on social media and the Internet as a whole. This has been invaluable in countering the mullahs’ propaganda and giving the Iranian people the power to access accurate news.

It admitted, “We continue to witness the public’s lack of trust in official media against social networks. The internet and reports on social media are more trusted by the people than official media.”

The regime has consistently underreported the extent of the damages and fatalities caused by catastrophic floods. Official reports claim that 70 people died in more than 20 days of flooding in 25 provinces.

Local reports and eyewitness accounts contradict that number. Several hundred men, women, and children are believed to have died in the floods, mostly in the cities of Shiraz and Poldokhtar.

The regime’s Attorney General attempted to suppress accurate reporting on the floods and the government’s response to them by threatening publishers of “fake news” on the floods, saying that anyone found publishing information contradicting official reports would be dealt with for “disrupting the security of the country.”

According to Tehran’s Chief of Police, four people were arrested in the nation’s capital for “spreading rumors” about the regime’s botched response to the floods.

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IRGC commander faces protests

Iranians Protest Regime’s Inadequate Response to Floods

IRGC commander faces protests

IRGC General Mohsen Rezai (former commander in chief of the IRGC,) visits the flood-stricken area in Lorestan, facing a protest by people objecting his propaganda visit that came several days after the flooding.

A number of protests have taken place across Iran after a series of major floods devastated large portions of the country. The protesters are angry about the regime’s failure to provide emergency shelter to those who lost their homes in the disaster. They are also demanding that the regime answer for its decision to release water from major dams—flooding homes, businesses, and farmlands—in order to prevent the floods from reaching its oil wells.

Regime officials have denied that protests are occurring, despite evidence to the contrary.

IRGC Public Relations Chief Ramezan Sharif said reports of protests were “propaganda.” But videos shared on social media tell a different story. Protests can be seen in the flood-ravaged provinces of Lorestan and Khuzestan.

In one video shared by the MEK network, an angry crowd greets former IRGC Commander-in-Chief Mohsen Rezai when he attempted to visit Lorestan Province. One man can be heard saying, “Have you come to take pictures & selfies? Why have you come? Get lost!”

“Get lost!” has been a popular slogan among residents of flood-damaged areas in response to propaganda visits from regime officials.

Another video shows protesters surrounding the vehicle of regime Army commander Ahmad Khadem Sayyid al-Shohada in Khuzestan Province. He shrugged off the protesters as “emotional” but then acknowledged that the regime is damaging farmlands by opening floodgates in dams.

Sayyid al-Shohada said, “In some areas, we need to remove barriers in order to allow flood water to run downstream although this measure may cause damages in the farmlands.”

Failure to Provide Compensation

Although the regime initially claimed that it would pay for damages caused by the floods, the Speaker of Parliament recently admitted that there is not enough money to follow through on this promise. Victims of previous disasters pointed out that they still haven’t received compensation promised to them. Over a year after an earthquake rocked Western Iran, many residents in the area are still living in tents. Some of those tents were washed away in the recent floods.

 

Protests in the city of Dasht-e-Azadegan, Khuzestan Province, turned deadly when Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) forces responded to the scene. Protesters clashed with Revolutionary Guards forces, who then fired into the crowd, killing one protester, identified as Aboud Jalizi, and wounding several others.

Regime Passes Blame

While tens of thousands of victims of the floods wait for desperately needed relief, factions within the regime struggle to pass the blame for the inadequate response to the disaster. The IRGC has accused regime President Hassan Rouhani’s administration of failing to appropriately manage the response to the floods.

In an April 3rd telephone reports to his superior officer, IRGC commander Mohammad Pakpour complained that there was “no management”  of the emergency rescue or relief response in Lorestan Province. He further said that government officials did not “dare” to visit the area because “the people are in a rebellious mood.” He reported on the condition of those who had been evacuated from the area, saying that they were “in a sorry state and conditions are bad.”

The series of floods began on March 19th and continued into the beginning of April. At least 26 out of 31 provinces were damaged, including hundreds of towns and villages. Local reports indicate that at least 200 people died in the disaster.

Staff writer

 

 

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