Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, August 16, 2021—In fear of protests, the Iranian regime has decided to split the province of Khuzestan into two. Mojtaba Yusefi, MP from Khuzestan, declared on Sunday that the draft bill to divide Khuzestan into South and North Khuzestan was delivered to the Majlis (parliament).
According to the plan, the cities of Abadan, Khorramshahr, Mahshahr, Omidiyeh, Hendijan, Behbehan, Ramhormoz, Aghajari, and Ramshir will become part of South Khuzestan province.
In recent years, regime has discussed on several occasions to divide Khuzestan into two or three provinces. The common denominator of the different variations of the plan was to separate the key cities of the province, Ahvaz and Abadan.
The government claims that the plan is aimed at “reducing public costs, removing parallel government apparatus” and “distribute the province’s resources among the population.”
But currently, the plan is being discussed in the wake of major demonstrations in Khuzestan that lasted several weeks. The protests began as Khuzestan’s residents were faced with major water shortages and were struggling for their most basic needs. The regime responded to the protests by dispatching security forces and opening fire on the protesters. Dozens were killed and many others were injured, according to reports. The regime also made hundreds of arrests. But the protests continued in Khuzestan and spread to other provinces across the country.
The demonstrations quickly turned into political protests that called for the overthrow of the regime and the ouster of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
The regime claims that the new divisions will reduce bureaucracy and centralization and will help address the people’s needs. But experts are suggesting that not only the province division will not solve these problems but will add new management overhead.
The new divisions will provide the regime with more government posts to give to its affiliates and cronies and further channel public wealth into the pockets of the ruling elite. Currently, all the so-called economic support being provided to Khuzestan is being usurped by regime-appointed authorities and the corrupt bureaucracy. Meanwhile, the regime’s destructive plans such as preventing investment in the province, changing the ethnic fabric of the province, and building dams across the province have contributed to the deterioration of the environmental and economic conditions.
Khuzestan is currently 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.
The new division plan is a recipe for disaster that will only make things worse for the people of a province.
It is worth reminding that in November 2020, the regime also handed over a bill to the Majlis that suggested dividing Sistan and Baluchestan into four provinces despite objections by the people. Mohsen Dehnavi, member of the Majlis presidium confirmed the receipt of the bill.