By Pooya Stone
Iranian security forces injured at least four villagers in Gheyzanieh, Khuzestan Province, on Saturday, after they opened fire on a protest about major drinking water shortages, held on a road linking Ahvaz, Ramhormoz, and Omidiyeh.
Given that conditions there are humid and dust storms are common, the shortages in drinking water are literally placing the lives of Iranians in danger. Of course, the mullahs consider any protest to be putting the continued existence of the regime in danger, so they immediately dispatched security forces to crack down on the protest, fearing this could spark an uprising.
A report from the state-run IRNA news agency said: “The police chief in Ahvaz said people in Gheyzanieh near Ahvaz protested their officials’ negligence regarding providing drinking water. They blocked the Ahvaz-Ramhormoz-Omidiyeh road and police units entered the scene to end the disruption.”
A police colonel claimed that protesters began “throwing stones and sticks” at officers who tried to break up the demonstration, which seems reasonable enough considering that their peaceful protest over not receiving something so essential to life was being brutally broken apart.
How this relates to the ongoing coronavirus crisis
Khuzestan Province is also one of the coronavirus epicenters in Iran, with the number of new cases rising at an alarming rate.
According to the state-run Hamshahri daily, Iranian Health Minister Saeid Namaki said Saturday: “We are witnessing new escalations of this illness in warmer climate provinces… The status quo is not good in Khuzestan Province… We have had discussions with the governors of Khuzestan’s neighboring provinces, including Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari and Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmed, and we have issued warnings about a new spread of the illness… There have been cases in Sistan & Baluchistan Province, in the village of Najafabad near the city of Khash, and this sounded an alarm bell for us.”
While Health Ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpour told the state-run Moj daily: “Khuzestan Province remains a red area. The number of cases is far higher than one percent of the entire population… More scientific testing is needed… In Iran, such studies have yet to be conducted. However, as the Health Minister said, the number of cases in our society has yet to reach the ten-percent mark.”
It seems clear, both in terms of the water shortages and the coronavirus crisis, that the officials do not care about the Iranian people and would condemn them to death, rather than help.