16 Sep 2017
About 80 percent of Falahiyeh Marsh have been damaged, which prompted the local residents dwelling in the nearby villages to migrate, sources told the Ahwaz Organization for the Defence of Human Rights (AODHR).
According to tallies, the marsh spreads on an area as equal as 527 thousand kilometers, 80 percent of which have been damaged.
In this marsh, fish, birds and other aquatic organisms lived in the marsh. Also, half of the populations in Falahiyeh have long been dependent on the marsh to earn their living.
Sources said the government’s policies aimed to deliberately dry up the marsh pushed 30,000 of the local Arab population to migrate.
They added the Iranian regime is carrying out ‘forced displacements by drying up the marsh. The authorities ushered in conducting operations to search for oil after draining the marsh. They appointed a Persian firm named Arvandan to search for oil the region.
The sources called on international institutions concerned with the environment and human rights to intervene to save this important environmental site and rescue of Ahwazi citizens to whom the marsh is a prime source for their livelihoods.
It is worth mentioning that Falahiyeh Marshes is one of the biggest marshes on the planet. It abounds with natural resources. It was previously, according to Ramsar International Convention, in fifth the place. But the deliberate negligence by the Iranian government and drilling oil wells caused the marshlands to fall down to 22nd in the ranking.
The local Arabs said, “More than 80% of the 570,000-hectare wetlands of Falahiyeh are now dried out completely that they’ve become salt flats. The wetlands’ transformation has created a looming threat of suffocating salt storms in the coming months. This catastrophe has ravaged the life of birds, fish, plants, and animals in at least 327,000 hectares of the land. These Falahiyeh wetlands now share the same awful fate as the wetlands of Hor-Alazim. Both are utterly destroyed. No one in a position of power seems to care enough to intervene and stop the Iranian regime from massacring wildlife and humans in this way”.
The sources also added that the ongoing discrimination, negligence deprive 38 villages in Shaaour rural district of drinking water.
Deliberate discrimination and negligence practiced by the Iranian regime deprived 38 Ahwazi nationals in the village of Shaaour of drinking water, sources told AODHR.
They said that there is no network for drinking water installed in this village, while the Persian settlers are offered the sublime services.
The sources yet revealed the local residents are those who sporadically bring water to this village in tanks. According to them, all the calls and of local residents for solving this problem went unheeded.
This crisis exacerbated the already deteriorating humanitarian situation.
Moreover, the Iranian authorities threatened to arrest those citizens calling for ending this problem in case they do not stop speaking about it.
Most villages in the area are going through the same woes, the sources went on to say.
They warned of the regime’s policies of racial discrimination against the Ahwazis in favor of the Persian settlers.
The sources urged the international community to step in to end the tragedies experienced by the Arab people of Ahwaz in the south and south-west of the country.
Those people are tormented under the Iranian occupation amid the sheer silence of the international community and human rights organization, the sources concluded.