Concluding Observations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 26
Full recommendation
The Committee recommends that the State party take urgent steps to counter the impact of
river diversions and industrial activity in Khuzestan, including environmental pollution and
water shortages, on agriculture and human health.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1

Article 44 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran stipulates that the ‘state sector’s
ownership’ includes dams and large water irrigation networks and that “such ownership must
induce development and growth in the country’s economy and not cause any social harm.”2
Article 50 of the Constitution provides that the preservation of the environment “is regarded
as a public duty” in the Islamic Republic of Iran and that “economic and other activities that
inevitably involve pollution of the environment or cause irreparable damage to it” are
forbidden.3 The Islamic Republic of Iran notably adopted the Law to Protect, Restore and
Manage the Country’s Wetlands in 2017, which prohibits exploitation and activity which
would lead to the irreparable damage to and pollution of wetlands. 4 On September 7, 2020,
Ebrahim Raisi, the Head of Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted the “Executive
Order regarding the Council for the Protection of the Public Treasury Rights in Lands and
Natural Resources”. According to this order, a council shall be formed to “make policies,
coordinate matters, and take necessary precautions in order to protect public rights and
prosecute individuals who take action to seize, destroy, and encroach on governmental and
public lands and properties, […], natural resources, riparian and littoral lands, springs, canals,
dams, …”.5
Water management in the Islamic Republic of Iran is under the responsibility of the Ministry
of Energy which established state bodies to coordinate and manage its activities, including the
Khuzestan’s Water and Electricity Company. The Department of Environment is a
governmental organization responsible for the protection of the environment in the country,
which notably handles the issuance of licenses for industrial, manufacturing and service units6
as well as the processing of complaints against, among other grounds, environmental

1

ESCR.12.2.1.S.1 ; ESCR.12.2.2.P.1; ESCR.12.2.2.P.2; ESCR.11.1.O.1
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
3
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
4
Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/iran-law-to-protectwetlands/#:~:text=The%20purpose%20of%20the%20Wetlands,20%2C%202017)%2C%20art.
5
Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran, https://bit.ly/3jI2ode
6
Department of Environment, Islamic Republic of Iran, https://en.doe.ir/portal/home/?964439/services
2

1

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