Mass protests erupted in the city of Hamidiyeh in western Ahvaz on Tuesday night over the ongoing water crisis in Khuzestan.
Videos of large, angry crowds marching through the streets and gathered outside government buildings amid a heavy security presence circulated on social media last night.
Khuzestan has been racked by severe droughts for the past few weeks, leaving the farming community devastated by the loss of livestock, while both humans and animals have scrambled to ensure they have enough potable water at the height of summer.
The protests took on a notably anti-government tone, with some demonstrators chanting: “We were looted in the name of religion.”
Online observers reported that protests were not contained to Hamidiyeh but had also broken out in the cities of Bostan, Dasht-e Azadegan, Mahshahr, Shush and Susangard. The news network Asr-e Junub also published a video of the protesters blocking the highway between Mahshahr and the port city of Bandar-e Imam.
In the main, the Islamic Republic has blamed the water crisis on climate change. But independent experts and a few isolated officials have pointed the finger at decades of government mismanagement, saying this disaster could have been averted.