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Iran: Protests to Save Lake Urmia Reignited

Once again thousands of protesters have poured into streets of Tabriz and Urmia in Iran's Azerbaijan region on Saturday to call on the Iranian government to save the dying Urmia Lake, one of the world's largest salt water lakes.

From dying lake to saving country

A photo of Lake Urmia from space in 1984 by NASA (PD via Wikimedia Commons)

Iranian authorities quickly reacted by repressing protesters. The news was censored in Iran-based media, but several video were posted on YouTube and bloggers flooded cyber world with their posts.

Blogger Urmuiscierli writes [fa] that there were battles on the streets with security forces beating up and arresting protesters, and even tying them to trees. Some bloggers called on more Iranians to support the Azeri activists and relaunch anti-regime demonstrations around country.

The construction of a dam on part of the lake, accompanied by a recent drought has significantly decreased the annual amount of water Urmia receives. This in turn has increased the salinity, repelling many birds and threatening permanent damage to the ecosystem. If the lake dries out, millions of people in the region will need to resettle to survive.

Protesters in Urmia

In Urmia, people say the lake is dying and that the authorities are responsible.

Azarakan writes [fa] that the spark started in Azerbaijan, and that we should now support their struggle and do what we can to stop regime forces repressing Azeri people. He says, this is a rare opportunity and that we should go on until freedom.

1freecountry writes [fa] that Urmia Lake does not distinguish between Tehran and Tabriz, we should organize in coming days everywhere.

Mosbate1000 says [fa] that:

Revolutionary Guards are responsible for constructing such dams to make a lot of profit. We should be aware of the cyber army of the Revolutionary Guards. In such occasions they post and share links to divide Iranians.

Doughodushab calls on [fa] Iranians to defend Urmia Lake and Azerbaijan. The blogger writes that we are all trapped by the Islamic regime and should protect our natural and cultural heritage.

Andarbab suggests [fa] that this Tuesday in Tehran and other cities people protest and demonstrate for supporting Azerbaijan.


  • […] took to the streets again on Monday in Ardabil, in Iran's Azarbaijan's region, to demand that the Iranian government […]

  • Braindrain

    Recent uprising in towns & cities of South Azerbaijan against central government proves that policy-makers` gamble on long-term intention of uprooting of indigenous people is already backfiring and emerging news from the area indicates that the public outcry is far from over which leaves the regime in a shaky and vulnerable position, particularly, considering the country`s desolate economy and the recent political changes in the region.It is not unrealistic at all that the current unrest could trigger a wider protest similar to the likes of Tunis and Egypt which could ultimately bring the government down as it did 32 years ago and the central government is too aware of this fact.Nevertheless,On this occasion, it is the utmost duty of Azeris` political elite to remain vigilent and to deflect any attempt by opposition groups to highjack the movement for their own purposes which occured during the last revolution with the well-known outcome for Azeris.

  • […] Hétfőn ismét tüntetők vonultak az utcára Ardabilban, Irán Azerbajdzsánnal szomszédos térségében, hogy az Urmia-tó megmentését követeljék az iráni kormánytól. Iráni bloggerek számos azeri aktivista ellehetetlenítéséről és letartóztatásáról számoltak be. […]

  • […] Demostranti su ponovo zauzeli ulice u ponedeljak u Ardabiliji, u Iranskom regionu Azarbaijan, kako bi zahtevali od iranske vlada da spase jezero Urmia. Iranski blogeri su izvestili o represiji i hapšenju nekoliko Azerijskih aktivista. […]

  • […] Nidina an-dalambe indray ireo mpanohitra ny Alatsinainy teo tany Ardabil, any amin'ny faritr'Azarbaijan any Iran, ho fangatahana ny hanavotan'ny governemanta Iraniana ny Farihin'i Urmia. Nitatitra momba ny famoretana sy ny fisamborana ireo mafana fo Azeri maro ireo Iraniana mpitoraka bilaogy. […]

  • […] poniedziałek demonstranci ponownie wyszli na ulice Ardabilu, położonego w azerbejdżańskiej części Iranu, domagając się zdecydowanych […]

  • […] fighting to save Lake Urmia in Iran from permanent environmental damage have not given up. On May 21, 2012 once again people in Urmia and several other cities in the Azerbaijan region of […]

  • […] Tsy kivy mihitsy ireoe mpanao fihetsiketsehana maro niady ho amin'ny  fiarovana ny farihin'i Urmia ao Iran amin'ny fahasimbana maharitra mahazo ny tontolo iainana. Ny 21 May, 2012 dia mbola nanao antso ho an'ny governemanta indray ny mponina avy ao  Urmia sy ireo avy amin'ny tanàna maro hafa  tao amin'ny faritra  Azerbaijan ao Iran mba hiaro ny Farihy Urmia izay miala aina, iray amin'ireo farihy masira lehibe indrindra eto amin'izao tontolo izao. Tao Khoy (sary etsy ambony) ireo mpanao fihetsiketsehana  no nanantona sora-baventy teo aminà tetezana  nilàza fa  ”ny fahafatesan'ny farihin'i Urmia dia fahafatesan'i Azerbaijan.” Bilaogera iray no nizara  sariitatra  milaza  hoe “Ndao Hiaro ny Farihin'i  Urmia amin'ny ranomasontsika.” […]

  • […] نجات دریاچه ارومیه در ایران از آسیب دائمی محیط زیستی تسلیم نشده اند. در تاریخ ۲۱ مه ۲۰۱۲، یک بار دیگر مردم در ارومیه و چند […]

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