Iranian regime forces reportedly killed one Ahwazi farmer and injured 11 other people, including elderly people and women, in retaliation for the victims’ refusal to abandon their homes and lands when the IRGC told them that the regime would be diverting the floodwaters from the current massive flooding afflicting the region in southwestern Iran onto their farmlands in order to protect oil wells in the area.
Acting on the instructions of the Iranian leadership, the IRGC had had reportedly ordered the opening of the floodgates of dams upstream, diverting the floodwaters to the farmlands around the villages of Jalizii and Shakaria in the Khafajiyeh area on the shores of the Karkheh river rather than letting them follow their usual course to the wetlands that empty into the Gulf since the regime leaders fear that the floodwaters might damage the oil rigs located there.
The local farmers, already angered by the regime’s indifference and abuse and by deteriorating economic conditions, protested at the regime’s insistence they abandon their homes and farms and let the crops that are their only means of subsistence be ruined in order to save the oil rigs; ironically, despite being the home of over 95 percent of the oil and gas resources claimed by Iran, the predominantly Arab Ahwaz region is one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the country.
The farmers also feared that if they were to leave their homes, they might never be allowed to return; thousands of farmers across Ahwaz have been driven off their lands by the regime to make way for industrial zones, oil pipelines or settlements for ethnically Persian incomers, receiving no notice and no compensation for the loss of the homes, farms, and lands which their families had farmed for generations.
The flooding of the farmers’ lands by opening the dams upstream to release pressure on them was ordered by President Rouhani following a recent brief visit to the region.