Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged officials to resolve the problems of the country's Khuzestan Province, which has been witnessing escalating protests due to a severe water shortage. "Officials are duty-bound to address the problems of Khuzestan … No one can rest with comfort in the face of the difficult situation in Khuzestan if they care about people," he said according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA.
Protests erupted in at least 17 cities across the province, including in the capital Ahwaz, after rainfall shortages affected irrigation and drinking water supplies.
Three protesters and one police officer have been killed in the demonstrations. One protester was hit by a car and two others were shot dead, but authorities said the victims were killed by "opportunists and rioters," Al Jazeera reported.