Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 20, 2021—Monday marked the fifth consecutive day of protests in Khuzestan province over water shortages and the Iranian regime’s destructive policies.
Protests were reported in Ahvaz, Veis, Kut Abdollah, Hamidiyeh, Ramhormoz, Shushtar, and Susangerd. People in neighboring provinces, including Lorestan, declared their solidarity with the people of Khuzestan.
The regime has been trying to quell the unrest by dispatching a large contingent of security forces to the areas where protests are taking place. But the people of Khuzestan resisted the wave of repression and continued their protests.
In Susangerd, protesters surrounded the office of the governor and demanded his resignation.
In Kuy-Alavi (Farahani Street), protesters lit fires and blocked the path of the regime’s repressive forces. The State Security Force (SSF) and special anti-riot units tried to disperse the demonstrators by pepper-spraying, firing tear gas and shotgun shells, and directly targeting defenseless protesters. The sound of gunfire could be heard in several cities.
Protesters also blocked the Behbahan – Ramhormoz Highway by lighting fires. In Khorramabad, people gathered in solidarity with the uprising in Khuzestan on the Masur highway at the city’s entrance.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), saluted the protesting people of Ahvaz and other regions of Khuzestan and praised their resolve. She called on the people and youth of other areas to rise in support of the Khuzestani protesters. Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that poverty, inflation, unemployment, disease, water, and power shortages, are the disasters of the clerical regime’s rule for the people of Iran. Freedom and justice are possible only with the overthrow of this regime and the establishment of democracy and national sovereignty, she added.
Khuzestan is faced with a severe water crisis, mainly due to the regime’s destructive policies. In recent weeks, reports from Khuzestan show the Hur ol-Azim marsh drying up and livestock dying due to lack of water.
At the same time, the province’s inhabitants are facing additional problems due to electricity outages. Last week, the people have held protests over power blackouts.
The unjustified creation of dams on the Karun river in the region is the main reason the people are facing water shortages. Khuzestan is one of several provinces that are faced with water shortages due to government policies. In May, the Arman newspaper published a column about hte water shortage crisis and wrote, “This is a struggle that, according to some, is rooted in the inefficiency of government officials in managing water sources and has resulted in the destruction of the lives of many citizens who rely on these water sources to make a living.”
On Tuesday, the Hamdeli newspaper quoted former MP Tayyebeh Siavoshi as saying, “The people have raised their demands through other means multiple times, including social media and legal channels. But since no one has responded to their demands, they have taken to the streets.”
Siavoshi warned regime authorities about the implications of the rising anger across different segments of the society and said, “[Authorities] have made the wrong decisions and they expect the people to have no demands and be deprived of all their most basic needs.”