The latest reports from Iran indicate that there is a new round of protests kicking off this week in the Khuzestan province because of a shortage of drinking water. At least one protestor has been injured and there have been reports of violence and damage in the cities of Khorramshahr and Abadan.
There has been a ridiculous war of words regarding the water shortage. One of the country’s top officials said that Israel and other unnamed neighbours are to blame for the crisis because they have robbed Iran of its clouds and snow.
On his Persian Twitter account, the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the ridiculous comment by saying: “Don’t be surprised, we use these clouds to put out the Hamas fires backed by the Iran regime.”
Almost a month ago, the Israeli Prime Minister offered advice and expertise to Iran with regards to the drought.
The water shortage in Iran is becoming a very serious problem, something that President Hassan Rouhani has confirmed, but very little is being done. The Iranian regime is taking the toxic and confrontational approach of blaming everyone else for the problems.
More than 40 per cent of the country is experiencing drought and the past few years have been the driest in decades.
This is not the only crisis that the country is facing. It is also suffering from land degradation, a severe loss of biodiversity, serious air and water pollution, desertification and deforestation. Rivers are being redirected as dams are being built.
Environmentalists are very concerned about the long-term consequences of the Iranian government’s inaction and many had taken steps to move the situation more positively forward.
The government appointed Kaveh Madani as the deputy head of the country’s Department of Environment. The Iranian-born environmentalist returned to Iran from London where he was working at Imperial College. The water expert was soon known as the symbol of those who returned to Iran, however the situation did not stay positive for long.
Madani announced in April that he has left the country. In a message on social media he said: “Yes, the accused fled from a country where virtual bullies push against science, knowledge and expertise and resort to conspiracy theories to find a scapegoat for all the problems because they know well that finding an enemy, spy or someone to blame is much easier than accepting responsibility and complicity in a problem.”
Several other environmentalists have been targeted by the Iranian regime. Kavous Seyed-Emami was killed in prison by the authorities after being accused of being a spy. In May, 40 environmentalists working were arrested and accused of spying.
The environmental crisis in Iran will continue for as long as it persecutes those that are trying to remedy the situation.