07162018Mon

Ishafan Farmers Protest Iran Government's Corruption for the Fifth Time in Three Weeks

Iran Focus

London, 16 Apr - Yet more protests from angry farmers have been held in Isfahan, central Iran, over the Iranian Government’s corruption and mismanagement that is exacerbating the drought crisis in the country.

Reports gathered from social media show that the protests began again on Friday and carried on through the weekend, with hundreds of farmers from the eastern parts of the province gathering in the provincial capital, chanting “America is not our enemy, our enemy is right here”.

The Iranian Government responded to the protests with violence and intimidation, which is how the Iranian Government responds to every protest. Riot police use teargas and equipped with water cannons to attack the protesters.

Some videos that were shared on social media even show a commander of security forces telling the crowd of protesters that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has dealt with the Government’s corruption problem. He said that the Iranian Government had dealt with all cases of corruption and accused Iran’s enemies, like Israel, of being involved in those cases.

Thankfully, the Iranian people challenged him on the lie that the Government has done anything to tackle corruption by shouting their disagreement.

The causes of the protest

The farmers are demonstrating against the local Government officials who have deprived them of water from the Zayandeh Rud river that Isfahan farmers have had the rights to for centuries.

According to one report, only 40% of agricultural lands in the eastern Isfahan received water last year. This means that in an area estimated to be 100,000 hectares in size, 60% of farming lands received no water, which affects plant growth.

The water is diverted into a neighbouring province, which many believe is the result of bribes rather than mere ineptness on the part of the officials.

Past protests

This weekend marks the fifth protest by the Isfahan farmers against the corrupt government since the beginning of the new Iranian year (March 21). It is expected that the people will be out protesting again tonight.

On March 16, the farmers swarmed the Friday prayer in Isfahan and turned their backs on the prayer leaders, chanting “Turning away from the enemy, eying the motherland”.

The prayer leader criticised the protesters for this, claiming that all they wanted was to create unrest and division in Iran. However, the Iranian people are just looking for justice after they have been unfairly penalised by the Government.

This is part of an overwhelming anti-government protest that broke out across the country in late 2017.

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