Two months into protests in Esfahan Province over water transfers to Yazd Province, protesters and security forces clashed and several buses were set on fire. The Kaleme website reported on Thursday February 28 that the clashes occurred when a group of officials who had arrived to make repairs to the water pipelines were met with resistance.
Photo from an earlier protest by farmers in Esfahan in February
A video showing the burning of buses in Esfahan has been posted on YouTube. Security forces reportedly used tear gas and BB gunshots to disperse the crowds.
Esfahan farmers have objected to the transfer of water to Yazd in light of the water shortages in their own province. Following the protests, some of the pipelines were damaged.
An Esfahan Province representative explained that farmers are angry about their water shortage, and that led to the pipeline being damaged. He added, however, that such actions are not condoned.
Hamidreza Fouladgar said: "Farmers had gathered recently and they argued that either water should be provided for their farming activities or they should be reimbursed for the damages they have suffered due to water shortages."
Parliament is to meet with the ministers of intelligence, power and the interior to discuss the water problems in Esfahan, Yazd and Chahar Mahal & Bakhtiyari provinces. An estimated 300,000 people have reportedly become unemployed as a result of the water shortage in Esfahan Province.