Radio Free Europe

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Dry River Triggers Mass Protest In Iran's Third-Largest City.

Thousands of people have joined a rally in central Iranian city of Isfahan to protest against water cuts and the drying up of the river that passes through Iran's third-largest city.

Images broadcast on state television on November 19 and videos published on social networks showed farmers and others from across Isfahan Province gathered in the dried-up river bed and elsewhere in the city, chanting slogans such as "Give Zayandeh Rood River back."

First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber said that meetings were being held over the issue to try to solve the water problem in Isfahan and elsewhere.

The protest movement started in Isfahan on November 8 and a number of demonstrators set up tents in the river bed last week.

Similar protests have been held across Iran in recent years.

In July, deadly rallies broke out in the southwestern province of Khuzestan amid widespread water shortages.

The Iran Meteorological Organization has estimated that 97 percent of the country is experiencing drought to some degree.

Mismanagement by the authorities has also been cited as a main cause for the water crisis.

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