Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that citizens have the right to protest after days of protests against water shortages in Khuzestan province, in which three people were killed.
The Southwest Province is Iran's main oil-producing region, but has been struggling with an intense drought since March.
The people of Khouzistan "has the right to speak, speak out, protest and even take to the streets within the framework of the regulations," Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state television.
At least three people were killed, including a policeman and a protester, according to Iranian media and officials, who accused "opportunists" and "rioters" of 'shooting at protesters and security forces.
"It is possible that an evil person will take advantage of the situation, get in the middle of it all and use a gun, shoot and kill one of our dear citizens, "Rouhani said.
Farsi-language media based abroad posted videos, they said. were protests in several towns, showing hundreds of people marching and chanting slogans against the authorities as they were surrounded by anti-riot.
It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the videos.
" If there is a problem, I ask the people of Khuzestan to solve it legally, "said Rouhani.
Khuzestan is home to a significant minority Arab and its inhabitants regularly complain of being marginalized. The province was a hotspot of anti-government protests that also rocked other parts of Iran in 2019.
Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary General Supreme National Security Council said on Thursday that "security forces were ordered to immediately release those detained during the recent incidents in Khuzestan who had not committed a criminal act " .
Summer heat waves and seasonal sandstorms from Saudi Arabia and neighboring Iraq have dried up the plains in theonce fertile in Khuzestan in recent years.