The role of the Iranian regime is an overlooked factor in the country’s ongoing water crisis. It continues to silence critics of government policies that have contributed to the crisis. Iran’s latest efforts to ameliorate the crisis through bans on high-water consumption industries should not be taken seriously when that very regime is simultaneously arresting experts trying to address the water crisis. Experts rightly point out that Iran’s water woes stem from mismanagement, the degradation of agricultural systems and corruption. The conversation needs to go deeper and identify the source of the problem: the regime’s failed attempts to prevent the aforementioned challenges from becoming challenges in the first place. The regime has consistently made excuses and prevaricated over an issue it does not want to take responsibility for. The recent arrest of environmental experts and their subsequent self-exile has made it abundantly clear that the regime should not be taken seriously, or trusted entirely when it talks of addressing its water crisis.
Arresting experts attempting to resolve a water crisis threatening the survival of the Iranian people is demonstrable of the fact that the regime in Tehran is not interested in such endeavours.
A proper unpacking of the crisis must involve the regime admitting the damage it has done to the environment. Such a step seems far from possible.
The water crisis stems from the regime itself. A theocratic regime that, in theory, does not fear its own destruction will be less attentive to the needs of its people and to the critics highlighting government ineptitude.