The Associated Press is reporting yet more protests gripping Iranian cities - this time over water shortages during a hot, dry summer which has also seen severe electricity shortages leading to unplanned, intermittent blackouts.
Both the energy and water crisis are deepening the outrage of the Iranian populace, after outgoing President Hasan Rouhani earlier this month issued an unprecedented statement admitting government mishandling of the energy situation:
Protesters angry over water shortages marched through streets late Thursday in an oil-rich, restive province in southwestern Iran and police apparently fire weapons to disperse the crowds, online videos showed.
It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone had been wounded or arrested in the protests across multiple cities in Khuzestan province, including its capital, Ahvaz.
Wary of the scorching summer temperatures that can hit 50C during the day, protesters hit the streets late last night in the oil-rich Khuzestan Province in #Iran to demand access to drinking water.— Kian Sharifi (@KianSharifi) July 16, 2021
Videos show security forces on the streets.pic.twitter.com/prLm18OIKa
Starting in the first week of July, social media videos from various parts of Iran appeared to show Iranians chanting "death to the dictator" and other anti-Ayatollah slogans, though the footage can't be verified, in relation to growing unplanned power outages - sometimes in parts of Tehran extending to 12 or more hours at a time.
Many of Iran's modern high-rise buildings are not designed to stay cool with lack of power, leading residents in sweltering conditions.
But with some areas now impacted by shortage of water, the diminishing vital resources situation is leading to spiraling political tensions.
Unrest in one of the warmest area in Iran, Khuzestan province, South of Iran, due to water shortage. This mother cries, her kids have not had water for 2 days! https://t.co/ivqPV7pYp6— mina bai (@bai_mina) July 16, 2021
Of course, US-led sanctions are also playing no small part in increasingly making the average Iranian's life miserable, despite hopes for a 'breakthrough' by summer's end.
Currently Vienna nuclear talks are said to be stalled, with both sides now appearing to confirm a seventh round of negotiations won't resume till August, after Iran's hardline cleric and president-elect Ebrahim Raisi takes office.
"Water worries in the past have sent angry demonstrators into the streets in Iran," the AP notes in its latest reporting, adding that: The country has faced rolling blackouts for weeks now, in part over what authorities describe as a drought striking the nation."
"Precipitation had decreased by almost 50 percent in the last year, leaving dams with dwindling water supplies to fuel the country," the report said.