TEHRAN (Iran News) – A senior cleric representing the protest-stricken province of Khuzestan in the Assembly of Experts has confirmed that two young protestors have been killed in recent protests over water shortage in the region, saying that the two young victims were killed by counter-revolutionary forces.
Ayatollah Mohsen Haidari noted that one of the protestors was killed in the city of Shadegan while the other was shot dead in Kut Abdollah, a city on the outskirt of Ahwaz. The cleric did not name the victims but state media identified them as Mustafa Naimawi and Qassem Khuzeiri. Ayatollah Haidari said Naimawi and Khauzeiri were both killed by counter-revolutionary forces.
“Criminal people, affiliated with foreigners and counter-revolutionaries, have abused the people’s demands and shot at them and killed innocent people,” Ayatollah Haidari told Fars News on Monday.
Underlining that “counter-revolutionary groups do everything in their power to achieve their evil interests,” the senior cleric said, “These people are even willing to kill innocent people in order to achieve their interests.”
Protests have erupted in several cities of the oil-rich province of Khuzestan in recent days. Demonstrators called on local authorities to release waters stored behind the numerous dams on rivers flowing into Khuzestan plains and marshes, where hundreds of thousands of people make a living by tilling lands and raising water buffaloes and dairy cows among other livestock.
The local authorities, however, complain that the region is suffering from a rarely seen drought that caused them to reduce the waters flowing into it.
Ayatollah Haidari said the demonstrators’ demands and concerns over water shortage are legitimate but called on them to act with care, insight, and vigilance so as not to create any grounds for the enemy to abuse them.
The cleric warned that the people’s rights would be destroyed if the Islamic Revolution is harmed and that the people should avoid “playing into the hands of the enemy.”