The officials and the victim’s father blamed the mob for the death in Shadgan, Khuzestan.
According to the Iranian state news agency IRNA, a young man was shot and killed on the second night of protesting against water shortages in southwestern Iran.
Iran is facing its worst drought in 50 years. Several towns and cities in Khuzestan province erupted in protest against a water crisis. The water crisis affected households, destroyed agriculture and livestock industries, and caused power outages.
On Friday, the acting governor of the county, Omid Sabripour, told the Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency (IRNA) that the fatal incident occurred on Friday in Shadegan, Khuzestan, and will The death was attributed to “opportunists and thugs.”
He said: “During the rally, the mob shot into the air to anger the people, but unfortunately, one of the bullets hit the people present and killed him.”
Sabripur said in a separate comment to ISNA News Agency that the shooting was aimed at demonstrators and security forces.
He added that the victim was a “30-year-old passerby” and the person responsible had been determined.
Iranian media played a video of the victim’s father, Mostafa Naimawi, who said that his son was shot by a mob and not by government security forces.
“My son is not a troublemaker, and has nothing to do with riots and riots,” the unnamed father said in Arabic in a video providing a Persian translation.
Videos posted on social media showed protesters lighting tires to block the road, and security forces trying to disperse the crowd when they heard gunfire.
In some protests, people vented their anger to the Supreme Leader Ali Husseini Khamenei, chanting “Death to the dictator” and “Death to Khamenei.”
Some people were arrested on Friday night, others began to hunt.
Earlier this month, President Hassan Rouhani stated that the drought was “unprecedented” and the average rainfall was 52% lower than the previous year.
Khuzestan’s MP Abdollah Izadpanah warned on Friday that “Khuzestan’s insecurity means that the whole country lacks a sense of security”.
According to ISNA reports, he attributed the shortage of water resources to “wrong and unreasonable decisions”, such as drawing water from Khuzestan’s rivers to other provinces.
The government, the judiciary, and President-elect Ibrahim Raisi said they are addressing water shortages, and the government sent a delegation to the province on Friday to alleviate the situation.
Alternate power outages
This month, the capital Tehran and several other large cities began rotating power outages. Officials blamed the drought’s impact on hydroelectric power generation and the surge in demand.
It is not uncommon for Iran to experience power outages during the peak summer period, but the continued drought has exacerbated the situation.
Khuzestan is home to a large group of Sunni Arab minorities, who often complain that mainly Shia Iran is marginalized.
In 2019, the province was a hot spot for anti-government protests that shook the rest of the Islamic Republic.
Over the years, hot summer heat waves and seasonal dust storms blowing in from Saudi Arabia and neighboring Iraq have dried up Khuzestan’s once fertile plains.
Scientists say that climate change has exacerbated droughts, and the intensity and frequency of droughts in turn threaten food security.
After the Delta variant began to spread in the southern provinces and now dominates the country, the country is still dealing with the fifth wave of COVID infection.