Rivers dry and fields dust, Iranian farmers turn to protest

Farmers in central Iran are increasingly turning to protests, pleading to authorities for a solution as years of drought and government mismanagement of water destroy their livelihoods. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Rivers dry and fields dust, Iranian farmers turn to protest

  • Protests have repeatedly broken out over economic woes in Iran
  • Every day, farmers hold a small protest outside Varzaneh, gathered around their tractors, long idle

VARZANEH, Iran: Farmers in central Iran are increasingly turning to protests, pleading to authorities for a solution as years of drought and government mismanagement of water destroy their livelihoods.
Protests have repeatedly broken out over economic woes in Iran, which has been enduring its worth drought in decades. Experts say the drought’s impact has been worsened as newly built factories soak up what little water there is.
Every day, farmers hold a small protest outside Varzaneh, gathered around their tractors, long idle, parked at the town entrance next to a canal that once irrigated their fields but has been dry for years.
The rallies have gotten larger, with bursts of violence, at a time when economic woes in the country from inflation to unemployment have fueled unrest repeatedly over the last year.


Iran embassy in Ankara evacuated after ‘bomb warning’

Updated 12 min 21 sec ago
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Iran embassy in Ankara evacuated after ‘bomb warning’

  • DHA news agency said Iran’s mission in the Turkish capital had been given an intelligence warning about a possible suicide bomb attack
  • Tehran flatly denied the report as a complete fabrication

ANKARA: Iran’s envoy to Turkey was evacuated from the embassy in Ankara on Monday after warnings of a possible bomb threat, local media reported.
But Tehran flatly denied the report as a complete fabrication.
“Such a claim is a sheer lie, and the personnel at our embassy are present at their workplace in full health and security,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.
Earlier on Monday, DHA news agency said Iran’s mission in the Turkish capital had been given an intelligence warning about a possible suicide bomb attack, prompting the evacuation of Ambassador Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian Fard.
The road by the embassy was shut off and police could be seen searching cars in the area, an AFP photographer said.
In 2015 and 2016, Turkey was hit by a series of terror attacks which were blamed on both Kurdish militants and the Islamic State jihadist group.
The last attack blamed on IS was in January 2017 when a gunman killed 39 people at an elite Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations.
Since then, Turkish police have conducted regular raids across the country against suspected IS jihadists.
They have also regularly targeted members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Ankara and its Western allies.