Iranian provinces face a water shortage crisis. During the summer, many of Iran’s southern provinces lacked access to water. What is the origin of this crisis? The destructive policy of the Iranian regime that has pushed the Iranian environment to the edge of destruction. In this article, we will examine the effects of the ongoing destruction of the environment on Iranian society and the consequences, such as the water crisis or the devastating floods that happened earlier this year.
The Iranian regime and it’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) play a key role in the destruction of the country’s environment, thanks to their institutionalized corruption and destructive policies.
State statistics show that the flood in March 2019 affected around 10 million people, directly or indirectly. The flood also damaged 235 cities and more than 4,300 villages in 25 Iranian provinces. As a result, 40,000 residential units in urban and rural areas need complete reconstruction, and 41,000 need maintenance and repairs.
The Iranian regime had no program to prevent or control the flood. On the contrary, by destroying the vegetation and half of Iran’s forests, changing the rivers paths, excessive construction of dams, and drying the marshes (such as the “Great Marsh” located at the Iran-Iraq border) to exploit oil reserves, they amplified the destruction of the flash flood by a factor of 10.
The Iranian regime continued its destructive policy despite numerous warnings by its own environmental experts and many protests by Iranian citizens.
On June 12, 2019, the residents of the Hussain Abad Kalpoush village in Semnan Province protested in front of the regime’s parliament in Tehran against the construction of the Kalpoush dam, which they described as unprofessional.
On April 13, 2019, some 115 professors of Ahvaz University in southern Iran wrote an open letter to regime president Hassan Rouhani and urged him to take action to “save the cities and villages of Khuzestan province”, while underlining the need to permanently dewater the “Hour-ol-Azim marsh”.
The state-run ILNA news agency quoted them as writing: “We urge you to immediately order the permanent dewatering of the Hour-ol-Azim marsh to prevent human and financial casualties, possible paralyzing of people, groups, institutions and associations and other irreversible environmental damages to the people of Khuzestan. Any economic activity, particularly oil exploitations in Hour-ol-Azim marsh, should be in line with the marsh’s eco-system.”
On March 1, 2019, Hadi Kia Daliri, the head of Iran’s Forestry Association, in an interview with the Islamic Azad University’s news agency, said: “According to statistics, each acre of forest holds up to 2,000 square meters of water, therefore the destruction of forests and vegetation could increase the current crisis. Construction of villas and destruction of forests are considered as environmental changes. These situations could turn continued light rains to heavy rainfalls and floods. So this is a threat to the northern provinces. More than 42 percent of the northern forests are devastated and, given this situation, we could say that in a few years’ time, there won’t be any forest left.”
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), confirmed in her message to the flood victims in March that the casualties are the fault of the plundering policies of the Iranian regime over the past 40 years.
She wrote: “This disaster once again proved that the ruling mullahs’ criminal 40-year policy of plunder and pillage has taken a heavy toll on the lives and livelihood of our people in every flood and earthquake. Why did so many of our fellow compatriots die and get injured in Shiraz after just a 10-minute rainfall, with such huge destructions?”
She cited that the corrupt mullahs inflicted this catastrophe and others by
- destroying the channel which used to lead floodwaters out in order to build urban facilities to gain profits for themselves
- failing to dredge the Gorgan River
- destroying vast parts of the forests and pastures
- draining the farms
- managing the watershed
- constructing buildings in the periphery of rivers
- blocking the natural paths of rivers
- selling river banks, seashores, foothills of mountains, and jungles
One Iranian-Arab citizen in Ahvaz described the situation, saying: “Khuzestan’s problem is not water density — it is the density of lies, betrayal, and totalitarianism, and when we opposed them we were called anti-revolutionist.”
The mullahs’ destruction of the environment is one of the most devastating problems caused by the Regime, which you can see through the excessive construction of dams that served the regime’s economic benefits.
The construction of numerous dams in Iran reduces the dams’ external water stream, forcing the agriculturists to dig wells, legally or illegally, to fulfill their need for water from underground sources. This practice in the moors around the Urmia Lake accelerated the drying of this lake, leaving a devastating ecological effect, particularly on Isfahan, Charmahl & Bakhtiari, and Yazd provinces.
The fact is, during its 40 years of reign, the mullahs’ regime has not only slaughtered the Iranian people and violated human rights, but continues the destruction of the Iranian environment. So, the answer to the environmental crisis in Iran, as to other social or economic crises, is the downfall of this regime.
Originally published at https://www.ncr-iran.org on September 25, 2019.