Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has broken his silence on the popular protests raging on in the southwestern Khuzestan province.
The protests erupted in the province over water shortages that have so far caused province-wide electricity outages.
Khamenei breaking his silence
The Iranian supreme leader said on July 23 that he and Iranian officials followed the crisis in Khuzestan with concern.
“We are following the water shortages and the problems of citizens there closely,” Khamenei said.
He did not, however, mention the suppression by Iranian police of the demonstrations.
Instead, he called on the Iranian government to consider the problems facing the people and work to solve them.
He specified the lack of water and the suffering sustained by citizens in obtaining it.
Khamenei said the new government in Iran would inherit many problems, with a new president preparing to take the reins of power in Iran.
“The continuation of protests before the inauguration of the new president will hinder the government’s plans and targeted development,” he said.
Arab tribal elders in Khuzestan criticized Iranian Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri when he visited the province.
They forced him to cut his speech short because he dedicated it to the achievements of the government of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani.
Khuzestan suffers multiple crises. The tribal leaders accused the Iranian government of robbing the province of its water and wealth.
“So what achievement are you talking about?” the tribal leaders asked the Iranian vice-president.
They said the province suffers an acute water shortage. They added that the health situation in the province is also deteriorating against the background of growing Covid-19 infections and deaths.
“If you had implemented the recommendations of the supreme leader, the situation of the Arab province would not be that bad,” the tribal leaders said.