Op Ed - Iranian Affairs

The IRGC as a Perpetrator Behind Ahwaz’s Floods

There are two issues. I cannot express my opinion on the first because it is not within the scope of my academic experience. It is the issue of the environment. All that I will bring up here is my primitive understanding of some lessons on the environment from the educational curricula in Ahwaz. I am still familiar with some of its terms such as the ecosystem.

I will speak of the second issue and express my opinion on it. It links between politics and environment, violations in environment, and the devastating floods that destroyed parts of Ahwaz region. It is a horrendous disaster for the people of Ahwaz who are different from the theory of Persianism and Iranism in terms of language, identity, and history. What should be brought to focus now is the conspiracies that seek to strip our people of its land, deep-rooted existence and replace it with other people. Conspiracies evolved from annihilating the identity to wiping out the Ahwazi existence. In other words, the schemes evolved from primitive methods to a dangerous and systematic phase which the devastating floods are one of its tools. In fact, the people of Ahwaz understood those schemes from the beginning. Thus the people in Ahwaz say that ‘Iran deprives us of water in the summer and floods us with water in winter. This proverb reveals the cutthroat zero-sum game between the Ahwazis and the Iranian regime on the soil of Ahwaz.

We shall cast light on what happened to our people in Ahwaz. The schemes included the diverting course of Karun River, the demographic change, and the IRGC projects that seize parts of the Ahwazi resources since Khamenei gave them the green light to carry out projects to achieve self-sufficiency and back terror militias in the region.

It can be said that the state is contributing to making the situation in Ahwaz much worse in the social, economic and humanitarian aspects. The state seizes all the resources, paying no heed to the needs of the aboriginal people. The state also does not pay attention to the land and water damaged by such attrition. In Isfahan, for example, the state works to serve the people. But in Ahwaz, the state’s mission is different. Maybe it seeks to flood the Ahwazis with waters, even if in winter, depriving them of water even if in summer. This happens in cahoots with the IRGC. Eleven dams have been established on Karun River. Some dams were all opened in one week, killing Ahwazis, destroying crops and killing livestock. Nearly 1.5 million Ahwazis are now displaced.

Looking at the performance of the state since the beginning of floods on March 29, 2019, we see the regime sought to protect oil facilities, sugar cane farms, preserved dams and the volume of waters that should be stored behind them. The mission was assigned to the IRGC terrorist organization. It is a nationalist police commanded by the supreme leader. If the natural disaster happens in Karun River flooding, the possibility of seeing high losses is low. But with waters stored behind 11 dams, the situation gets totally different within the Iranian schemes. There is no doubt nature has nothing to do with such a disaster. But nature has been used as part of the plot. This cannot be denied.

Following up the activities of the IRGC in ensuring the destroying of Ahwazi environment reveals the enormity of the IRGC’s crime. The crime included drying up al-Azim marchland, al-Dawrak marshland and spreading desertification to establish military barracks and create spaces for conducting maneuvers. This is in addition to weakening nature’s ability to resist disasters as nature defends itself. But nature in Ahwaz is unable to protect itself from disasters. The deliberate drying up and spread of desertification led the land to erode and cracks to appear. Also, the regime stripped villages, countryside, and the agricultural counties of the ability to defend nature in the event of natural disasters that the regime creates within its schemes. All these measures lead Ahwaz to plunge into such a massive disaster in the history of Karun river floods.

The role of the terrorist IRGC in causing such a disaster is crucial. It is the entity tasked with implementing the schemes of the state at the time. It is part of its project against the resources of Ahwaz as the IRGC is in control of a massive force. It could be said that the major blow dealt to Ahwaz is due to the criminal force of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base. It has caused massive destruction in the ecosystem in Ahwaz. This Base is tasked with establishing dams. They store water and sell them with no deterrence to suspend their illicit activities. Corruption files in which the IRGC is involved has been seized.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5YukuCD8cw

The disaster is so enormous in the collective mind of the Ahwazi people. Also, the IRGC is a prime contractor with the Ministry of Irrigation and the Ministry of Agriculture. It is true that the Ministry of Irrigation is the entity primarily responsible for water. But the ministry has no power over the affairs totally run by the IRGC, whose projects are carried out by the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base in Ahwaz.

The Ahwazi floods, the IRGC’s guarding of oil and agricultural facilities, diverting the course of the floods to the villages, cities, and farmlands in Ahwaz are a testament to the destructive role that it plays towards the ecosystem in Ahwaz. It works tirelessly to set up facilities in the areas that fit for cultivation.

Analyses sometimes pay no heed to the IRGC role in implementing the strictest security plan in the region of Ahwaz. During the floods, talks between senior officials within the regime were leaked. They urged the importance of doubling the efforts of the IRGC to drive waters to the residential areas to accelerate the demographic change scheme and maintaining the facilities of the state and the IRGC safe. We need nothing but patience to find new pieces of evidence that corroborate this account.

The clashes that happened in al-Jalizi village revealed these plans. The IRGC patrols clashed with the local residents which protected its outskirts by the buffers to counter floods. According to witnesses, the residents of the villages noticed suspicious schemes by the IRGC personnel. They revealed they are trying to plant TNT explosives to destroy the buffers set up by the villagers in order to conduct double maintenance to the oil facilities and sugar cane farms. The clashes left many people wounded and one man, named Abod al-Jalizi, killed on April 4th, 2019. He died in defense of the dignity of the Ahwazi people, bread and water. In another incident, the IRGC security branch arrests Sheikh Khalaf Marawni on April 4th, 2019. He was led to an unknown destination. His only charge was reversing the direction of waters towards sugar cane farms to save the village.

The conclusion is that these incidents reveal that the administration of Ahwaz region in the area of implementing these schemes in cooperation with the state or the orders of the supreme leader lies with the IRGC. The projects that are being carried out to impact the Arab presence are always assigned to the IRGC due to the massive capabilities it possesses. It has a carte blanche when it comes to tackling the issues of security aspects. According to the regime’s viewpoint, resisting floods is a security issue. The IRGC presence in Ahwaz is alarming. Its alarming practices are clear and evident and the memory of the Ahwazi history preserves many of them. These crimes include destroying the Ahwzi environment, whether natural, social or cultural as it is a major force for the Ahwazis. It is time for us to join those who demand punishing this nationalist Iranian terror organization and record the names of its leaders and the crimes they commit to the day where the remnants of the regime are caught by the Ahwazis in particular who will call them to account, and the non-Persian peoples in general. This dream is within the realm of possibility.

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