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Iran: Ahwaz Distressed City…Lawmakers Criticize Rouhani Government’s Negligence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. Reuters

London – A warning was sent to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday by 68 lawmakers for what they called negligence for Ahwaz’s conditions.

The lawmakers called for the government to form a crisis cell and announce Ahwaz as a distressed city, especially after 12 oil cities southwest the country witnessed 48 hours of – electricity, water and communication – blackouts that affected oil exports.

They warned from the popular resentment over this negligence in Arab areas at a time when senior officials in the province criticized the Iranian government for ignoring Ahwaz’s conditions.

A statement issued by the lawmakers said that the government demands the convening of an urgent meeting to discuss Ahwaz’s affairs.

Five power plants went out of service due to climatic conditions as haze and extremely high humidity and led to a power outage in major areas in the predominantly Arab region of Iran’s Khuzestan, paralyzing life in its capital city of Ahwaz.

Despite producing 35 percent of the country’s water and electric energy, the oil and gas-rich province has struggled with water and electricity shortages over the past few years.

Khuzestan residents have often complained of marginalization in addition to what they call Iranian politicians’ systematized efforts to evacuate their province.

The ongoing shortage resulted in the closure of schools, universities, banks and governmental offices in no less than 11 cities in Khuzestan, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

A local official of the Oil Ministry has said power blackout in Khuzestan province hit oil production, with 770,000 barrels of crude decline in production.

The blackout mainly hit the oil producing platforms of the National Iranian South Oil Company.

Currently, Iran’s oil production totals 3.9 million barrels per day, 2.9 million barrels of which are produced by National Iranian South Oil Company.

Five power plants of Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran went out of service on Saturday morning due to such climatic conditions as haze and extremely high humidity, leading to a power outage in major areas in the province.