Officials of the Islamic Republic lambasted Israel on Monday, June 11, for launching a Persian website to “assist people and farmers of Iran to recycle water”.
Calling Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu a “deceitful showman”, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, “I don’t know to what extent one should respond to the remarks of a deceitful showman.”
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had released a two-minute video in which he offered Israel’s water expertise to Iran, which he said faces an environmental disaster due to persistent drought.
“Today I’m going to make an unprecedented offer to Iran,” Netanyahu said in the English-language video, which featured links to the State of Israel’s Persian website with information about water shortage, and to a Persian-language Telegram Channel.
More than 15,000 people watched the video immediately after it was released.
Responding to the widely watched video, Qassemi said “This is not the first time that Netanyahu makes such irrelevant comments”, adding, “The Israeli prime minister had better first stop the massacre of Palestinians and the crimes that he is committing on a daily basis.”
Responding to questions raised by reporters, Qassemi also insisted, “The Iranian nation, with such population and capability, is definitely able to resolve its own problems and do not need this jugglery.”
However, without any reference to “water mismanagement” the Islamic Republic establishment is accused of, Qassemi also did not elaborate on the reasons that have triggered recent water crisis in Iran and led to widespread protests in Provinces of Isfahan and Khuzestan.
Qassemi was echoing earlier comments made by the head of Department of Environment (DOE) and Deputy President Isa Kalanatri.
“Netanyahu is overstepping; Iran’s environment is none of his business. He’d better look after his own business,” Kalantari told pro-reform website Entekhab on Monday, insisting, “Netanyahu may do whatever he likes, but he’d rather clean up the mess he has created.”
However, the US educated and twice Minister of Agriculture (1989-2001), the 65-year old Kalantari preferred not to elaborate on the “mess” he was talking about.
Previously, Kalantari has repeatedly warned that 50 million people “Will soon be forced to relocate under the pressure of water crisis in Iran”.
In his recent video addressed to the people of Iran, Netanyahu used Kalantari’s remarks to enforce his argument, “Issa Kalantari, a former Iranian agriculture minister, said that 50 million Iranians could be forced out of their homes due to environmental damage. 50 million!”
Going further, Netanyahu argued, “Millions of Iranian children are suffering from mismanagement, inefficiency, and the theft of vital resources by the Iranian regime.”
While admitting Israel’s past challenges with shortage of water, Netanyahu told the Iranians, “Israel has the know-how to prevent environmental catastrophe in Iran. I want to share this information with the people of Iran.”
A long-lasting drought has repeatedly made headlines in Iran during past months.
“In current situation of the water crisis, 70% of the Iranian population should leave the country,” Kalantari has ominously predicted.
A member of the influential Expediency Council, former deputy President Mostafa Hashemi Taba has gone further, saying, “If the problem of water is not addressed, the Islamic Republic will be wiped off along with Iran.”
Minister of Energy, Reza Ardakanian has also predicted that 334 cities with nearly 35 million people are going to suffer water crisis during summertime.
One reason behind Iran’s water crisis is ill-planned and haphazard construction of numerous dams in recent decades.
In a June 7 article, Benjamin Walsh, a research analyst at Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme, argues that the bulk of the blame for Iran’s water crisis falls on the Islamic regime and its Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Mismanagement, corruption and total rejection of responsibility by the state are the root problems for the looming catastrophe.
“The role of the Iranian regime is an overlooked factor in the country’s ongoing water crisis. It continues to silence critics of government policies that have contributed to the crisis”, Walsh writes.