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The river that gives life, a memory of past splendour

The Zayandehrud River, in central Iran, which literally means “the river that gives life “ will dry up by the end of June, according to the regimes ministry of energy.

The river that once flowed for 400 kilometres from the zagros mountains in the west through parks and under safavid-era bridges was known for its fertile waters, and plentiful fish, is now only dirt and rocks, the only evidence are boats docked on its sandy banks.

The fate of the Zayandehrud River is shared by many other waterways, as Iran struggles with a water crisis so urgent that officials are talking about the possible rationing of water in the Iran capital of Tehran, home to 14 million people.

The salt lake of Urmia was once the largest in the Middle East and the second largest in the world. But in less than 25 years the lake has lost 98 percent of its volume, experts believe that the lake could completely disappear in the next years, pushing millions into poverty.

2200 kilometres to the east another lake is disappearing, in the Zabol region, lake Hamoun, which provided livelihoods for around 400,000 people in the region, but on the afghan side authorities began diverting water leaving the Iranians on the other side of the border in despair.

Despite the reasons for the water shortage obviously being due to drought and poor water management, Seyyed Youssef Tabatabi-nejad, a senior cleric alleges that it is the immorality among women in Iran that has caused the Zayandeh-rud River to dry up.

In Isfahan, a city in which the river used to run through, the cleric said, “My office has received photos of women next to the dry Zayandeh-rud River pictured as if they are in Europe. It is these sorts of acts that cause the river to dry up even further.”

Tabatabi-nejad continued: “I tell the Communications Ministry to clamp down on the instigators of the networks encouraging immodesty. If you don’t do so, then you will have failed to carry out your duty. The Communications Ministry can discover and suffocate these individuals.”

Tabatabi-nejad vehemently added that simply talking about the “problem” wound not solve the problem and allowed the police force to use Hezbollah forces to enforce their morality codes.

This is the latest in a series of crackdowns on youth culture and dissuade from “acting western” like attending mixed-gender parties and playing music too loud



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