By Jubin Katiraie
The water crisis in Iran is being felt most harshly by the deprived people living in the south, central, and east Iran, and is largely due to the destruction of water infrastructure by regime-linked institutions.
Alongside the many other crises facing Iran, not least the coronavirus pandemic, this is the result of the regime prioritizing its illicit activities over its people and exploiting natural resources for hoarded wealth.
In Sistan and Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran, people are forced to dig ditches to collect rainwater, which has resulted in some people falling to their deaths in the deep ones or collecting water from lakes where crocodiles sometimes attack and kill them.
Essa Kalantari, head of the regime’s Environment Organization, said in 2017: “Not even a foreign enemy ruling this country would have been able to destroy natural resources and the environment, as what has happened in the past years. We have experienced any kind of ecological disaster within the past four decades. Prior to this, many of the country’s environmental indicators, such as water were in a good position.”
Other regime officials have said similar things. The CEO of the Water and Sewerage Company in Lorestan province saying that only half of the villages there are even linked up to the water and sewer systems, while the MP for Ahvaz, southwest Iran, noted that 800 villages don’t have drinking water even though they are near five large dams and seven rivers.
This information and more shows that the people are facing problems because of the regime’s mismanagement and building dams that actually prevent water from getting to where it needs to be, causing flooding in some places and droughts in others over a very short period.
Not only does this affect the drinking water, but also the water for farmers who now cannot grow crops, creating a food shortage. It is also having an economic effect on the poorest people in the country who now have to purchase potable water, which is supplied by regime-linked companies at exorbitant prices.
The regime has refused to help, either quashing protests or making false promises that are never fulfilled, which has meant that the issue and all other crises are turning Iran into a powder keg, ready to explode.
The state-run Ebtekar daily wrote on September 6: “It seems that Hassan Rouhani, for obvious and hidden reasons, has distanced himself from society and people as much as he could. But neither he nor his advisors notice that this behavior is the final nail in the coffin of the people’s trust. They do not understand, or they ignore, the devastating consequences of this action. It is good for the president’s all security entourage to remember that since November 2019 until now what strange things have happened in our society.”