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Iran National Security Committee Head Says Water Shortage Is “Security Threat”

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Foreign Policy and National Security Committee of Iran's Parliament

Iran’s water crisis has escalated into a national security predicament, warned Ala’eddin Boroujerdi, head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in the Iranian parliament.

Highlighting years of water shortage and negligent policy, Mr. Boroujerdi said on June 30: “The water crisis has practically evolved into a national security threat. We were forced to launch a special committee to tackle the problem.”

According to Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) on Friday, July 1, Boroujerdi went further: “Why have we ignored such problems in the past 38 years? And why are we still ignoring them in many other parts of the country? As far as water is concerned, Iran has very limited resources. Our country is one of the world’s arid countries and suffers from water shortages. Water shortage has become a national security threat,” ISNA cited Boroujerdi as saying.

“Sadly, our water resources are wasting away because we ignore the need to correctly implement laws and regulations for managing our water sources,” said Boroujerdi. Human and industrial consumption only account for 10 percent of water consumption in Iran: nearly 90 percent is agricultural use, where irrigation methods are highly inefficient, as emphasized by Boroujerdi.

Boroujerdi also warned against open sewers flowing into Iran’s rivers. “Sewage ends in rivers in many parts of the country and adds waste to healthy water,” the MP maintained. Sewage, like garbage, according to the MP, is not refined in Iran and therefore poses a danger to people’s health.

“Tehran’s residents used 900,000 cubic meters of water more per second than in the same period of last year,” ISNA reported last May.

Excessive dam construction, the use of unprofessional irrigating system, drought and climate change have combined together to create the water crisis in Iran, Reuters reported.

The low cost of water in Iran is also said to encourage people to consume it in excessive quantities.

In an op-ed published by the Washington Post on Wednesday, May 16 2017, Seth Siegel – author of ‘Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World’ – argued that the economic empowerment of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) over the last 30 years lay at the root of the current water crisis.

“IRGC-owned companies … began damming major rivers, changing the historical water flows of Iran. This was done to give water preferences to powerful landowners and favored ethnic communities while also transferring billions from the public treasury to IRGC leaders’ accounts,” wrote Siegel.