US condemns use of violence against Iranians protesting water shortages’
The United States on Wednesday condemned the reported use of violence by Iranian security forces against people protesting waters shortages, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
"We support the rights of Iranians to peacefully assemble and express themselves, without fear of violence and detention by security forces," Price said in a statement.
Protesters took to the streets angered at severe water shortages, which have led to droughts across Khuzestan Province.
Demonstrations swelled and now include more robust criticism of the Iranian regime and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ahwazi activists and local reports have said five people have been shot dead by the Iranian security forces during the water protests.
Videos uploaded by activists, including from the town of Izh, show protesters chanting slogans such as "Reza Shah bless your soul", in reference to the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, which was ousted from power in 1979.
Other videos show security forces firing tear gas at protesters.