We have not yet recovered from the shock of the brutality and violence used by the repressive forces against Izeh protesters, which yesterday on the eighth day of protests – protests that are no longer only Khuzestan protests that erupted last Thursday, July 15, 2021 in this province and spread very quickly to other cities and regions in other provinces of the country, now they have turned into nationwide protests – on the eighth day of the nationwide protests, we have not yet recovered from the shock of Izeh – protests that are no longer against water shortage, but a widespread uprising against Khamenei, against the principle of Velayat-e-Faqih (Supreme Leader), to overthrow the Islamic Republic regime in Iran – we were still in shock of Izeh, Yazdanshahr, Ganaveh,… when yesterday, July 22, 2021, on the eighth day of protests, the regime’s oppressive forces, armed to the teeth, brutally suppressed and killed people who came to the streets empty-handed. Various local sources report that at least four citizens were killed during yesterday’s protests in Aligudarz, Lorestan province. No information is available on the number of injured or detainees. Aligudarz was blood yesterday.
Yesterday, the internet was cut off in a large part of Khuzestan province, and users were not able to share videos of protests happening in the province for hours.
Citizens’ reports and videos published on social media so far show that people in Andimeshk, Ahvaz, Mahshahr, Aligudarz, Shahinshahr, Lordegan, Shaour, Shadegan, some areas in Bushehr and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari provinces gathered yesterday to protest.
The state media and officials have been doing only one thing since the beginning of the protests: denying the truth, disrupting the information network, spreading lies and denying events, and not covering the news. ISNA quoting the social deputy of the Bushehr police chief calling the videos related to the clashes and protests in Ganaveh and other areas of Bushehr fake. Earlier, the governor of Khuzestan, Qassem Soleimani-Dashtaki, had made the same claim about the protests in Susangard and Mahshahr. IRNA, the official news agency of the Islamic Republic, headlines “A Calm Thursday night in Khuzestan”. Tasnim, a news agency affiliated with the IRGC intelligence, writes about “the return of calm to Khuzestan and the heavy defeat of the insurgents against the people.” Fars News Agency is busy denying all the time. It denies that protesters were killed. It called killing of Hadi Bahmani who was murdered in Izeh, a rumor and spreads his name along with somebody else’s photo which was released on social media by the cyber agents of the same news agency.
But a day after videos of Hadi Bahmani’s funeral procession were posted on social media, along with shouts of “Death to Khamenei” by Izeh youth, Fars News made a video in which a man in the presence of several mullahs asked NAJA (Islamic Republic Police) officials: “Do not allow them to take advantage of our child’s mourning assembly!”
Today, Amnesty International, in its report on the protests in Khuzestan, acknowledged that at least eight people had been killed in the protests, and described the regime’s state-run media approach as similar to their actions during the November 2019 nationwide protests. This institution specifically refers to the videos of the relatives and families of the victims during the protests in Khuzestan made by Fars News Agency. Amnesty International mentions a film produced of the family of Qassem Naseri (Khozeyri) by Fars News Agency: “plain-clothes intelligence agents visited Ghassem Naseri (Khozeyri)’s family shortly after he died and coerced them into reciting a pre-prepared script on camera.”
The IRGC and its affiliated forces’ killings are not the only things being covered up by Fars News these days. The crimes of this terrorist group in the economic sector are tied to “Khatam al-Anbia Camp”. From the beginning of the protests and public attention to its role in the Karun River water transfer and dam building projects, the camp began deleting content related to these projects from its website. Today, the camp’s website is completely unavailable. Not only the website of Khatam al-Anbia, but also the website of information and statistics of the country’s dams has been made unavailable under IRGC order.
But what is the cause of these “down websites”? Fars News Agency, in complete disbelief and in contradiction with hundreds of documented reports from previous years published in the official government media, contradicting the statements of many IRGC officials, including Saeed Mohammad himself and other former commanders and officials of the camp, wrote: “Khatam al-Anbia Camp has not transferred any water from Khuzestan.”
This blatant lie followed the release of this clip, in which Saeed Mohammad talks about the transfer of water from Khuzestan to Isfahan: “It was a good decision to provide Isfahan with water from Beheshtabad (source of Khuzestan rivers), in my expert opinion, there will be no problem for Khuzestan.”
The volume of materials and documents that refute this lie published by the IRGC’s Fars news agency, quoting IRGC’s Saeed Mohammad, is so vast that deleting them or making one and two sites inaccessible will not solve the problem.
Videos released from the “secret meetings on transfer of water from Khorasan Dam and Karun’s sources to Yazd”, a project that was finalized within the framework of a memorandum between Yazd Governor’s Office, Water Power Company and Khatam Al-Anbia Camp in the same year, are not only evidence of Khatam Camp’s involvement in this project. Mohammadsaleh Jokar, a representative of Yazd in one of these meetings, after emphasizing the need to “hide” the activities and “not to inform the public” about the project, says: “You know, there are a lot of sensitivities towards the people of Isfahan. In our country, the people of Khuzestan are fighting with the people of Isfahan, the people of Chaharmahal are fighting with the people of Isfahan, but Chaharmahal and Khuzestan never clashed with us. We used to deal with these in the previous meetings, even the Chaharmahalis told us ‘We will help you but not Isfahan!’ Sensitivity is on Isfahan; So, we will have fewer consequences and we can solve its problems at the parliamentary level as well.”
No one could have admitted more clearly that the Islamic Republic needed the division and separation of Iranian people in order to survive and plunder Iran’s resources. The great project of the Islamic Republic is to split Iran, to rule over tribes and ethnic groups that are not united and are at war, a conflict that is being waged by the regime itself. The “thirsty uprising”, however, messed up all the regime’s calculations. Arabs, Lors, Bakhtiari, Persians, Tangestani, Isfahani, Turks and Baluchis united against the entirety of the Islamic Republic and took to the streets. It is because of this heavy defeat that today the regime’s repressive machine in Izeh, Mahshahr, Ahvaz, Shadegan and Aligudarz is shelling defenseless people. But today, people have realized their great power, which is unity across the nation.
Translation of this post by Sahar.