Gholamreza Sharafi, the Parliamentary representative for Abadan, states that the actual number of unemployed Arabs in the province in more like 50%. In cities like Hoveyzeh, this number climbs to 70%.

Abortions are illegal in Iran but are permitted if the lives of the mother or foetus are in danger, but even then they must obtain an abortion permit.

A nurse, who works in a midwifery clinic in Southern Ahwaz, said that she has seen 90 illegal abortions carried out in her clinic alone.

She said: “We are asked by the parents to carry out the abortions not because there’s a problem with the mother or the foetus but solely for such reasons as poverty, deprivation, or being jobless.”

The nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, said the woman confirms her agreement to the procedure in writing and pays $250- $330.

This does not account for the back-alley abortions which will be the only route for families that cannot afford the $330 payment; ordering abortion medication over the internet, home remedies and even the ingestion of poison, can result in the death of the women who have to resort to them.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran wrote: “By ignoring [the] issue of widespread abortion in the province, the regime leaders and officials are actually revealing the other side of the plundering, astronomical frauds and wasting away the country’s resources in their war against the people in the region, the disasters we will continue to witness in Iran as long as this regime is in power.