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Iranian parliament rejects oil revenue to help poor

The Majlis (Iran's Parliament) has rejected a bill to allocate 1.5 per cent of oil export revenue to the province of Khuzestan on procedural grounds.

The decision will anger many Ahwazi Arabs, struggling with poverty and cultural oppression. Although Khuzestan produces up to 90 per cent of Iran's total oil output, more than 50% of its indigenous Ahwazi Arab inhabitants live in absolute poverty. The situation has led to massive unrest. Last month, the UN's Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Miloon Khotari condemned the treatment of Arabs in Khuzestan, particularly the government's land confiiscation programme.

The bill was intended to address some of the concerns over the impoverishment of Ahwazis, assisting in reconstruction and development in the province. Dr Soodani, a Majlis member from Khuzestan, said he would resubmit the bill in the future. This was not the first time that this bill is being rejected by the Iranian parliament.