Qassem Saeedi, deputy of parliament for the city of Howeyzeh in Al-Ahwaz region, told the Mehr news agency a few days ago that Howeyzeh city suffered deliberate neglect by officials resulting in increased deprivation for its residents.
In reference to the intentional negligence by city officials, he added: “The people of this city are suffering terribly from poor infrastructures, such as lack of sewage drainage and poor roads without asphalt. And there are many shortcomings in the academic and cultural field.” He added that the “shortcomings and the suffering endured by citizens in the city of Howeyzeh should come as a surprise because we have enormous riches in this region.”
He went on about the great wealth enjoyed by Howeyzeh city, referring to the city’s oil field, the largest oil field in Iran, and the third largest in the world. Yet we see that the residents of this city are suffering from deprivation and poor social services. These tragedies will cause serious reactions socially and politically.
It is noteworthy, in this context that the parliamentarian’s comments come at a time of growing awareness among the young people of Ahwaz, who have refused to take part in the elections. Concerned by the new political activism of the youth, the parliamentarians have adopted a new policy in Ahwaz. With the hope of increasing electoral participation, the parliamentarians have taken to pretending to defend the rights of the oppressed people.
Howeyzeh is rich in oil, but its people are prevented from being employed in oil facilities. Furthermore, the region’s traditional agricultural activity has been adversely affected by the construction of dams and a policy of diverting water away from the local farmers. As a result of this policy, due to a lack of water, Howeyzeh farmers have sustained large scale loses of crops. Moreover, the city sustained heavy casualties and ubiquitous damage during the Iran-Iraq war, but has not seen the kind of reconstruction and rebuilding efforts seen elsewhere in Iran, outside of Ahwazi Arab areas.