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Iran rejects UN rights chief’s ‘accusations’ over water protests

Iran rejects “false accusations” by the UN rights chief on protests over water shortages in the country’s southwest, where at least four people have been killed since last week.

Khuzestan, Iran’s main oil-producing region and the wealthiest of the country’s 31 provinces, has been gripped by drought since March, with protests erupting in several towns and cities since July 15.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet yesterday told Iran to address the chronic water shortage in Khuzestan instead of cracking down on protesters.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh responds that Bachelet’s comments “on the recent events in Khuzestan (are) regrettable,” decrying “false accusations and incorrect information.”

The rights chief had failed to consider the government’s “great efforts” to “relieve the suffering of the population,” Khatibzadeh says in a statement, adding that this demonstrated the “political” character of the declaration.

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