The Revolutionary Guards are trying to implement a project called ‘Beheshtabad’, which will transfer water to the central plateau of Iran – its desired areas – by digging a tunnel by the same name, about one billion cubic meters per year.
Occupying the lands of 200 families
This inhuman action, which in addition to destroying the region’s water resources and causing drought, requires the seizure of 200 families’ lands and their destruction, which has angered locals.
Iran’s state TV on 26 May reported: “Nearly 3,000 people in Farrokhshahr held a protest rally to implement the Beheshtabad water transfer project. Protesters protest against the implementation of a water transfer project called ‘Beheshtabad’ tunnel this evening in Farrokhshahr (Sardaran Square of this city next to Qanat Barvi).”
The regime’s Basij news agency also wrote in explaining the reason for the rally: “According to experts, in case of water transfer through the tunnel to the subordinate province; 400 springs, 217 aqueducts and 2,000 wells in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province will dry up. (Basij news agency, 26 May)
Forouzandeh, the mayor of Farrokhshahr, called the city ‘one of the province’s livestock and agricultural hubs’ and said: “One of the most important professions that have been formed in Farrokhshahr in recent years is the dairy industry, which has created good employment, but with the implementation of Beheshtabad tunnel, these jobs will be eliminated.” (FARS, 25 April)
He also admitted: “Farrokhshahr is one of the areas that will dry up and suffer losses along with the Beheshtabad tunnel project. Therefore, the people, aware of the destructive consequences of this plan, formed this gathering to make their voices heard by the decision-makers.”
President Hassan Rouhani also acted quickly in fear of spreading protests to other places and ordered the Minister of Energy and the governor of the regime in Khuzestan to deal with this subject.
“The President also stressed that the governor, provincial officials, and all relevant agencies should plan and take the necessary measures to prevent the problems and difficulties for the people of Khuzestan in providing drinking water in the summer so that we do not see such problems for the people.” (Rouhani’s official website, 25 May)