Analysts say economic desperation and growing frustration in Iranian society have led to angry demonstrations around the country that began with people protesting water shortages in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. “If the society wasn’t hopeless, it wouldn’t take to the streets. It wouldn’t react. Its dissatisfaction wouldn’t result in protests and it wouldn’t be able to raise its voice,” Tehran-based sociologist Saeed Madani told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda.
Thousands of people have protested water shortages in recent days caused by a severe drought and exacerbated by years of state mismanagement of Iran’s natural resources and poor planning in oil-rich Khuzestan, where residents — including its large ethnic Arab minority — have long complained of second-class treatment….
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