Iranians gather during a protest to voice their anger after their province’s lifeblood river dried up due to drought and diversion in Isfahan on Nov 19, 2021. (ISNA)

November 22, 2021

Protests over water shortage continued in Iran’s Shahre Kord city on Monday, with people demanding the region’s water rights after similar protests in Esfahan.

The Monday protests followed a noisy demonstration on Sunday where a call was made to gather again and continue demands for the water rights of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari province, a mountainous region in the Zagros mountains.

What apparently triggered the protests in Share Kord, the provincial center, was a huge protest on November 19 in neighboring city of Esfahan in central Iran, where tens of thousands gathered to demand water from the government. The city’s iconic Zayandeh Roud river has been completely dry for a decade and residents blame government mismanagement in diverting water to ill-conceived industrial projects.

But residents of neighboring mountainous regions are concerned that the government will divert more water to Esfahan, reducing what is available for their irrigation needs.

The people of Shahre-Kord region are known as fiercely independent heirs to once warrior mountain tribes and videos on social media show their anger during the protest on Monday. In one such clip protesters are shouting a warning that the authorities should fear the day when they take up arms.

Iran International

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.