President Ebrahim Raeisi has paid an unannounced visit to Iran's key province of Khuzestan as his new administration is getting down to brass tacks to improve people's livelihoods.
Marking his first provincial trip two days after the formation of his cabinet, the president arrived in Khuzestan on Friday morning, accompanied by a number of his cabinet members, including the ministers of energy, interior, agriculture and health as well as the head of the Budget and Planning Organization.
Upon his arrival at the General Qasem Soleimani International Airport in Ahvaz city, Raeisi said the nation is indebted to the “good people” of Khuzestan, who defended the country wholeheartedly during the eight-year war waged by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
“The problems in this province sadden everyone,” he said, vowing to launch a concerted campaign to tackle the problems.
“People should know that in the administration, we will put solving the problems of the country in general and solving the problems of Khuzestan in particular on our agenda, and it seems that with the participation of the people, many knots will be untied,” he added.
Khuzestan was rocked by protests last month over water shortages. The demonstrations, however, were hijacked by enemy forces, resulting, in some instances, in violence.
In the midst of the protests, however, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei sympathized with the Khuzestan protesters, saying the water problem is “not a trivial issue.”
“Well, now that the people have voiced their grievances, they cannot be blamed,” the Leader said.
President Raeisi has promised to pursue the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, help the underprivileged, resolve people’s livelihood problems, uphold the rule of law and fight corruption.
The destination of his first provincial trip is also seen as a symbolic gesture to pursue those ends.
In their first session on Thursday, the cabinet members of the administration took an oath to follow up on the goals during their time in office.