The United States has condemned the violent crackdown on large-scale peaceful protests in Iran


The United States has condemned the violent crackdown on large-scale peaceful protests in Iran, saying "the people have a right to be held accountable for their actions."

Ned Price, the spokesman for the State Department, denounced the actions of the Persian forces during the demonstrations due to the lack of water in Isfahan that left at least 67 detainees.

The United States is "very concerned" by the "violent crackdown" on "peaceful" protesters in Isfahan, Iran, a State Department spokesman said on Saturday.

"The Iranian people have the right to express their frustration and hold their government to account, " tweeted Ned Price, referring to the discontent of the local population with the drought in the region.

The United States and Iran are scheduled to resume indirect talks in Vienna on Monday to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal.

At least 67 people were arrested after clashes with police on a new protest against the drying up of an iconic river in Isfahan, the country's third-largest city, according to Iranian police.

For more than two weeks, residents have organized rallies to complain about the terrible drought that has hit the area for years. They blame the authorities for diverting water from the city to supply neighboring Yazd province, which is also in dire need of water.

The arrests were carried out by the police, the Revolutionary Guard, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic, and the intelligence services.

Last Sunday, more than 1,000 people marched to the governor's office in the western province of Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari to demand a solution to the water shortage, state media reported.

President Ebrahim Raisi met with representatives from the Isfahan, Yazd, and Semnan provinces earlier this month and pledged to resolve the water issues.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that this issue is the country's main problem, without referring to the protests.

Drought has been a problem in Iran for about 30 years. Still, in the last decade, it has worsened, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Iran's Meteorological Organization says that about 97% of the country now faces some level of drought.