On Tuesday, citizens in Shahrekord, in the southwest of Iran, took to the streets, protesting continuous water shortages. “Death to [president Ebrahim] Raisi” and “Death to the provincial governor [Gholam-Ali Heydari],” protesters chanted outside the Chahar Mahal & Bakhtiari provincial governorate.
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) August 16, 2022
“The brave people, esp. women, of Shahr-e Kord took to the streets to protest water cut-offs. Chanting ‘Death to Raisi’ and ‘we earn our rights only by taking to the streets,’ they confronted Iran regime’s repressive forces. I urge all compatriots to support them,” said Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran.
The brave people, esp. women, of Shahr-e Kord took to the streets to protest water cut-offs. Chanting “Death to Raisi” & “we earn our rights only by taking to the streets,” they confronted Iran regime’s repressive forces. I urge all compatriots to support them. #IranProtests
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) August 16, 2022
After at least a ten-day lack of piping water and officials’ hollow promises, people found no way to meet their demands but to take to the streets. In response, Heydari, a Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander, placed many anti-riot forces outside his office, fearing public ire.
However, residents, particularly defiant women, boldly ignored the regime’s oppressive measures and continued protests. Furthermore, the demonstrations took place following the recent flash floods that swept at least 21 provinces across Iran, which once again highlighted the primary source of water shortages is officials’ mismanagement and profiteering dam-building projects rather than climate change and drought.
Officials falsely bold drought as a natural disaster while intentionally ignoring that Chahar Mahal & Bakhtiari province is a traditionally water-rich region in the Zagros mountains, and they have used its water resources to irrigate other areas.
Instead, Shahrekord MP Ahmad Rastineh claimed the problem has stemmed from the recent flash floods in the region. However, the facts spoke louder, forcing him to implicitly admit to the regime’s idle for constructing water treatment plants. “The city lacks any water treatment plant for the province,” the MP said.
Meanwhile, Crisis Management Office director-general Etezad Moghimi had pledged that the Energy Ministry would address the water shortage crisis within a day.
“Within a day, all water treatment plants will be in operation, and the water supply problem will be solved,” Moghimi said on August 14. Nevertheless, the underprivileged citizens met nothing but further insult added to their injuries.
Shahrekord citizens vent their anger at Raisi and other officials as the regime fails to solve people’s fundamental dilemmas and difficulties. Notably, citizens had earlier staged protests in April, protesting officials’ non-standard plans to transfer water out of the province, causing a scarcity in the region. During the demonstrations, outraged residents chanted radical slogans threatening the state-backed mafia—IRGC—with taking up arms.
Indeed, as other states carefully track climate changes and manage the Monsoon season storm in favor of their agricultural and industrial aspects, the regime in Iran has pended the fate of millions of people to the dice rolling. In such circumstances, citizens see no path to obtain their fundamental rights and grasp street protests are the sole means to end either authorities’ indifference or their horrible regime.
In this respect, they directly target Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei with radical slogans in their socio-economic and social demonstrations, sounding their genuine desire to get rid of the corrupt tyranny in Iran.