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Rohani Visits Troubled City Of Ahvaz Following Days Of Protests

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has visited a city plagued by pollution and other problems, seeking to reassure angry residents that the state is addressing them.

Rohani's one-day visit to Ahvaz on February 23 followed days of protests by residents blaming power cuts, dust pollution, and water-supply problems on government mismanagement.

He said that the government has taken measures to prevent further water-supply problems and that there have "also been many efforts to resolve the issue of electricity cuts."

He said he came to Ahvaz, the capital of the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan, to inspect measures that are being taken to resolve the problems.

Residents took to the streets last week, calling for senior officials to come to the city to see the problems for themselves.

Amateur videos of the protests showed crowds chanting against what they described as "injustice" and calling for help.

Demonstrators also chanted that "clean air" is their right.

Intense dust storms have been blamed for the power cuts in the city.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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