Iran says police officer killed in unrest amid water protest
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian police officer was killed during unrest in the country’s restive southwest amid ongoing demonstrations over water shortages, state media reported Wednesday, raising the death toll in the unrest to at least two people.
Gunfire killed the officer in the city of Mahshar and another suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
The report blamed “rioters” for the killing, without elaborating. The protests already saw another man killed, according to Iranian media reports. Iran in the past has blamed demonstrators for deaths occurring amid heavy-handed crackdowns by security forces.
“As nearly 5 million Iranians in Khuzestan are lacking access to clean drinking water, Iran is failing to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to water, which is inextricably linked to the right to the highest attainable standard of health,” the group Human Rights Activists in Iran said.
Iran’s economy also has struggled under U.S. sanctions since then-President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, crashing the value of the Islamic Republic’s currency, the rial.