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In Oil-Rich Khuzestan Province, Residents Live in Slums

By INU Staff

INU- State-run IRNA news agency recently cited the Khuzestan governorate’s Director General of Social Affairs, when he said, “According to estimates, 850,000 Khuzestan residents are deprived and live in slums.”

Approximately 80 percent of Iran’s oil fields and 60 percent of the country’s gas reserves are located in Khuzestan Province. The southwestern province borders Iraq. The majority of Iran’s ethnic Arabs call it home.

It is also known for its historical sites, including the ancient city of Shushtar. Yet a majority of the province’s residents are poor and unemployed. As a matter of fact, Khuzestan has the third-highest rate of unemployment in Iran. So, locals apparently don’t benefit from the province’s wealth.

IRNA also cited Mohammad Sadegh Karimi Kia, when it reported that the province ranked a shocking 13th in suicide rates in the country.

In Iran, reportedly between 19 million and 21 million people in Iran live in slums, deprived of minimum health and public services. The official number of slum dwellers is 19 million, who live in 3,000 slums all over Iran. One out of every four people in Iran lives in a slum.

According to a member of the social committee of Iran’s parliament, “Official statistics say that we have 11 million people, and if we also count worn-out places and settlements, 19 million marginalized people are living in slums.”


In an interview with state-run Shafagnah, Salman Khodadadi stated that, “Unfortunately, 19 million of our 85 million people live in a space where there are grounds for their deviations,” on April 7, 2018.

The social problem of people living in slums is an unfortunate consequence for society, and are the results of mismanagement and unemployment. Marginalized people living in sheds or thickets is a social problem, leading to stealing and addiction, prostitution and illnesses. Nearly a quarter of Iran’s people are directly affected. Over 19 million people, twice the population of Portugal, are marginalized and living in slums in Iran.

State-run media reports that the Iranian government is among the world’s richest governments. The annual budget figures of the countries of the world show that the revenues of the Iranian government are higher than many other countries.

Still, poverty and marginalization in Iran remains an issue that affects a quarter of the country’s population. But, it does not seem to be an issue that is caused by a shortage of wealth and resources.

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