Iran-Protests against economic hardships


Police arrested several protestors and forcefully disperse the protests

The police in Iran forcefully dispersed protestors in different cities while arresting at least 30 people in Khuzestan and Mashhad. The police used tear gas to disperse the couple of hundred protestors in Behbahan, a city in Khuzestan province.  The different groups give the call for Friday protests against worsening economic situation. The small crowds came out on the streets to express their anger and discontent against government policies.
The coronavirus epidemic has exacerbated Iran´s economic woes with a temporary shutdown of the economy and reduced exports, leading to a sharp devaluation of its currency and rising inflation. U.S. sanctions have already deteriorated the country's dire economic situation. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to impose lockdown that caused huge loss to the economy. The government is facing financial constraints. The unemployment and inflation has risen sharply. The incomes continue to fall and making it difficult to survive.
One protestor summed up the mood of people in the following words, we are angry. The economy is so bad that we cannot survive. We are angry because we cannot even feed our families. The situation is unbearable for us. The soaring inflation is killing us. The government is not helping us in this difficult situation. 
The authorities are trying to quell the protests at the early stage to avoid repeating the November 2019 situation.  The police issued stern warning to the protestors and asked people not to join protests on Friday. Behbahan police chief Col Azizi urged Iranians "not to be influenced by the system´s enemies" aiming "to agitate the people in the current sensitive situation".
Iran has been hit once more by growing discontent over economic hardship as many Iranians returned to the streets late Thursday July 16, clashing with police in the country's southwestern province Khuzestan. The protests underscored a revival of last year’s anti-government protests erupted in November 2019, when over 1,000 people are believed to have been killed in the deadliest street violence since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Internet access to the wider region was disrupted as demonstrators shared videos of the rally. Internet-access advocacy group NetBlocks.org reported the disruption affecting Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province late Thursday.
The videos showed demonstrators chanting slogans heard at other protests in Iran over the last year, including: “Don't be afraid, we are all together.” Others targeted Iran's foreign policy, shouting: “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I will die for Iran.”
Khuzestan is a key oil-producing region that has often complained of official neglect. Bordering Iraq, it is one of the few areas in mainly Shiite Iran to have a large ethnic Sunni Arab community. The gathering in Behbahan came days after Iran upheld death sentences for three people linked to deadly protests last November sparked by a hike in petrol prices.
Last year's unrest began with protests over economic hardship but turned political, with demonstrators demanding top officials step down. The protest erupted on Nov. 15 in Tehran and rapidly spread to at least 100 cities and towns, with petrol pumps torched, police stations attacked and shops looted, before being put down by security forces amid a near-total internet blackout. Iranian officials repeatedly denied death tolls given by foreign media and human rights groups as "lies" and passed the responsibility of reporting on it between different state bodies.
The November demonstrations showed the widespread economic discontent gripping Iran since May 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump imposed crushing sanctions after unilaterally withdrawing the U.S. from the nuclear deal that Tehran struck with world powers. That decision has seen Iran begin to break the limits of the deal, as well as a series of attacks across the Middle East that Washington has blamed on Tehran.
In 2018, after the Iranian government raised fuel prices by 50%, thousands of protesters took to the streets to protest the government, blocking roads and attempting to prevent security forces from entering certain neighborhoods. 
                                                                     International desk

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