(NCRI) and (PMOI / MEK Iran): Iran is experiencing an unprecedented environmental crisis under the regime’s rule, with dwindling water supplies, deforestation, fast desertification.
Investing in food self-sufficiency, which led to unregulated and unsustainable agricultural development, was the most major and detrimental axis of water resource mismanagement in Iran. This unwise policy has resulted in the unregulated abstraction of surface and groundwater resources, development subsidence, and the destruction of a significant portion of the country’s sources of water.
Protest in Khorramshahr over the unprecedented water shortage in the city due to regime mismanagement.
The water in Khorramshahr is salty and mixed with sewage. Worse, there’s not enough of it to go around. At the beginning of this summer, the people of Khorramshahr took to the streets to protest this critical situation, and they continued to do so for several days until the regime claimed it was taking action to solve the water issues in Abadan and Khorramshahr. Ten people were arrested, 25 were charged with “calling people to sedition” and “abusing popular demands,” the regime pronounced the problem solved and moved on.
The problems were not solved, and the problems in Khuzestan Province could not be easily fixed. For one thing, the problems in Khuzestan Province are not new. The IRGC and other agencies of the regime have been stealing water from the province for over 30 years.
Second, the problem is not limited to Khuzestan. Water shortages are occurring in areas across Iran, with similar protests taking place regularly. There is no easy or temporary fix to the water crisis in Iran.
Protests erupt in Borazjan
The worsening water crisis in Iran has most recently spread to Borazjan, in southern Iran, where thousands protested on Saturday after a severe water shortage left residents without water for days. The protesters said the regime’s response was “chaotic,” “inefficient,” and “incompetent,” and assembled in the city square, demanding that the Governor come out and address the issue. According to the MEK network inside Iran, protesters chanted, “Either the Governor steps in, or we are going to raise Hell!”
Mohammad Baqir Sa’adat, a regime MP, publicly admitted that the regime had failed in its handling of the crisis. In a statement to the city’s website, he said, “People’s anger is justified. They are even entitled to insult the authorities.”
Sa’adat explained that the water shortage, which caused the water to be cut off for ten days during severe heat, was due to the illegal use of thirty high-power pumps in the neighboring city of Kazeroon being used to irrigate regime-affiliated orchards late at night. Though an official verdict has been issued for the pumps to be dismantled, the governor of Kazeroon has yet to comply with the ruling.
A Nationwide Crisis
Water shortages have occurred, and continue to occur across Iran with alarming frequency, with large protests by farmers in Isfahan early this year over a lack of access to water for agriculture, as well as protests against unsafe drinking water in cities across Iran. In some regions of the Khorasan and Yazd provinces, villages have no access to drinking water. Sistan Baluchistan, Boushehr, Kermanshah, and other provinces also face serious water shortages.
Iran hasn’t always had this problem. Where is the water going? The short answer is that it is being stolen by the regime.
The water of Zayanderud is being directed to industrial units belonging to the Revolutionary Guards. It would appear that this water is being used for the regime’s nuclear sites.
Iran’s drinking water supplies are being sold to neighboring countries, such as Iraq and Kuwait. The people of Iran are left in need.
And of course, as seen in the protests in Borazjan, those who are affiliated with the regime may use water as they please, in defiance of the law, even as residents of an entire city go without water for well over a week. There are two sets of rules: one for the regime and its associates and one for the people it oppresses.
The solution to Iran’s water problem is to end the mismanagement of the country’s water resources. The regime plunders Iran’s precious water for its endless nuclear pursuits and its financial interests, and the people of Iran never see any benefit. The people see water shortages and violent suppression of any dissent to the regime’s corruption and incompetence.
The regime is incapable of reform. The only solution is regime change. The people have begun to rise up and demand a new leadership, one which values freedom and democracy, one with a plan for stability and prosperity for Iran.
Iran Protests in Borazjan, over the water shortage and the mismanagement of the water supply be the regime.
Borazjan, in Iran’s southern province of Bushehr, is known as the land of palm trees and sunshine. The warm dry climate provides the perfect conditions for growing dates with a rich, full flavor. But under the tyrannical rule of the clerical regime, the same climate that yielded the city’s high-quality dates is exacerbating a water shortage caused by the mullahs’ mismanagement of natural resources.
The city’s residents took to the streets on July 3rd to protest the water scarcity and dire economic circumstances faced by the local population. On July 7th, the demonstration was still in full swing. The brave residents gathered in the city’s Hospital Square, chanting slogans such as “death to the dictator” and “we don’t want an incompetent government”.
On Friday, July 6th, the protestors disrupted the regime’s Friday prayer ceremony and continued well into the night. By Saturday, July 7th, the protest had entered its fourth consecutive day and is showing no signs of abating.
A water shortage caused by gross mismanagement
Shahin Pakrooh, a deputy of the regime’s state-run water and wastewater engineering company, estimated that 334 of Iran’s cities are facing water shortages. Of those 334, 107 of them are reaching a critical level.
The Iran Meteorological Organisation estimates that around 97% of the country is experiencing drought, with the Energy Ministry calling the current drought the harshest in more than 50 years. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) called the water crisis one of Iran’s six “super-challenges” Iran faces.
Although the year has been one of the driest on record, the situation has been vastly exacerbated by the regime’s water mismanagement. The regime has systematically manipulated the natural flow of Iran’s water sources for its own financial gain. Excessive dam construction has caused lakes, rivers, and wetlands to dry up.
The mullahs’ water mismanagement has destroyed the livelihoods of those living in rural communities. A 2017 UN report warned that agricultural livelihoods are “no longer sufficient”. Many Iranians are being forced out of their homes in pursuit of economic security, abandoning their communities, and heading to the cities without shelter, work, or money.
Tensions are rising
The residents of Borazjan are the latest to protest the situation. Last week, demonstrations were also held in Khorramshahr and Khuzestan, and in April 2018, the farmers of Isfahan staged protests at the water shortage which ravaged their crops and destroyed their livelihoods.
Pakrooh added that the situation in some cities could worsen before it gets better. Isfahan, Kerman, Fars, Khorasan, and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces will face a more severe shortage before the end of summer, according to Tasnim, the state-run IRGC news station.
Repression and empty promises
Instead of offering meaningful solutions to the water crisis devastating Iran, the regime has provided nothing but violence and empty promises. In Borazjan, the regime’s promises aimed at quelling the protests were greeted by choruses of, “it’s a lie! It’s a lie!”.
In Isfahan, the response was more aggressive. According to the MEK, the regime raided protestor’s homes in the middle of the night, arresting large numbers of protestors in an attempt to prevent the protests from spreading.
Borazjan’s brave residents are speaking for the whole population of Iran. Their chants of “we don’t want an incompetent government” resonate with Iranians from all over the country who are tired of struggling to water their crops and provide drinking water for their families.
On 5th day of the water shortage, the demonstrators continued their protests till after midnight. The furious demonstrators chanted: