I have said it before and I will say it again: Iran’s biggest challenge is not the sanctions, high inflation, very high levels of pollution or high drug usage. Its something more simple and far more deadly: the coming drought.
As I mentioned in my piece for Al Monitor November last year, this drought could also have demographic and geopolitical implications for Iran. The reason being that some of the worst hit areas are populated by minority groups residing in Iran’s periphery – border areas. These include areas populated by the Azeris, the Baluch and Iranian Arabs.
On August 21st 2014, the Financial Times published a podcast from my ancestral city of Esfahan where the main river, Zayande Roud has dried up. As I mentioned in my piece, my father nearly drowned in this river. These days its so dry some go horse back riding in the area that once was this flowing river.
The drought is another reason why I believe that ultimately, Iran’s most powerful man Ayatollah Khamenei will agree to a deal with the P5+1 in November this year. If he rejects, he will have additional sanctions and this devastating drought to deal with.
You can listen to the podcast below.
You can also read my more extensive piece about this challenge here