Posts Tagged ‘Khuzestan province’

Iran’s Persistent Protests

July 4, 2018

More demonstrations as the regime scrambles to beat new sanctions.

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Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei PHOTO: SUPREME LEADER OFFICE HANDOUT/EP/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

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Iranians are protesting in the streets again, only a few months after the regime crushed nationwide demonstrations over the country’s sagging economy and widespread corruption. The periodic eruptions are a sign of discontent that may spread as the pressure from renewed U.S. sanctions increases.

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Protests in Iran. AP file photo

The latest upheavals centered in the southwestern city of Khorramshahr over the weekend, after brown fluid started running out of taps. Hundreds of residents gathered in a public space reserved for Friday prayers and blamed local officials for the lack of potable water, chanting such anti-government slogans as “in the name of religion, they plundered us.” Protests also broke out in nearby Abadan.

The weekend demonstrations are part of a larger pattern of discontent with the ruling theocracy in Tehran. In December and January, demonstrations erupted in more than 100 cities and towns over inflation, joblessness and graft. Women staged hijab protests, ripping off their veils. In March farmers from Isfahan province in central Iran protested long droughts. In May truckers went on a nationwide strike to protest stagnant wages and rising costs.

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An Iranian made ballistic missile is launched from Yemen by Houti rebels into Saudi Arabia — Reuters file photo

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani promised that the 2015 nuclear deal, which funneled tens of billions in hard currency to Iran, would usher in better economic times. Instead, the regime used the money to finance its Quds Force operations and Shiite militias in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

President Trump’s May decision to exit the nuclear deal and reimpose financial sanctions is already increasing pressure on the regime. Protestors swarmed Tehran’s Grand Bazaar last month after the local currency, the rial, slumped to 90,000 to the dollar in the black market. The rial has fallen roughly by half since the end of 2017, as traders and banks anticipate a harder time getting dollars. Economist Steve Hanke estimates annual inflation has spiked to 126%.

In August the U.S. Treasury plans to reimpose sanctions on gold and other precious metals, U.S. dollar dealing, trade in Iranian sovereign debt, and autos. In November U.S. sanctions will kick in on ports, shipbuilding, petroleum, energy, insurance, and more. A State Department official suggested last month that the U.S. wants to halt all Iranian oil exports, but on Monday policy planning director Brian Hook said it will consider waivers for countries on a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Rouhani responded Tuesday by threatening to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries in the Middle East, but that would court U.S. intervention to keep oil flowing through the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. doesn’t want an oil-price spike with a barrel already selling for nearly $75. But the risks are far greater for Iran if it doesn’t change its marauding behavior because its political control at home is far from certain.

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Iran: Unclean Drinking Water in Oil Rich Khuzestan Sparks Protests; Government Calls For Calm

July 1, 2018

Iran called for calm on Sunday after protests in a southern city over water shortages turned violent overnight with reports of police shooting at demonstrators who attacked banks and public buildings.

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Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli

“No one has been killed in the unrest and just one person has been wounded in a shooting,” said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

“Our effort is to bring these protests to an end as soon as possible with restraint from police and the cooperation of authorities, but if the opposite happens, the judiciary and law enforcement forces will carry out their duties,” Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying.

Shots could be heard on videos circulated on social media from the protests in Khorramshahr, which has been the scene of demonstrations for the past three days, along with the nearby city of Abadan. The videos could not be authenticated by Reuters.

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Thousands of people rally in support of Iranian anti-government protests in Los Angeles, California U.S. January 7, 2018. REUTERS/Monica Almeida

State television showed banks with broken windows and footage appearing to shows an identified demonstrator armed with a rifle.

Police fired tear gas as protesters set fire to a bridge, and to a garden surrounding a museum which is a memorial to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, state media said.

A number of protests have broken out in Iran since the beginning of the year over water, a growing political concern due to a drought which residents of parched areas and analysts say has been exacerbated by mismanagement.

Oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province, where Khorramshahr is located, is the home of many members of Iran’s ethnic Arab minority, who have long complained of alleged discrimination and tight control by security forces.

Speaking before the clashes, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that the United States was acting together with Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states that regard Shi’ite Muslim Iran as their main regional foe in trying to destabilize the government in Tehran.

“If America was able to act against Iran, it would not need to form coalitions with notorious and reactionary states in the region and ask their help in fomenting unrest and instability,” Khamenei told graduating Revolutionary Guards officers, in remarks carried by state TV.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Editing by William Maclean

Reuters

Iran’s Abadan refinery catches fire, six injured

June 28, 2018

An Iranian oil refinery caught fire late on Wednesday in the southwestern part of the country, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, leaving six people injured.

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Firefighters on the scene at the Abadan refinery have brought the blaze under control, a local official was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency, adding that the fire would be contained in an hour.

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An Iranian oil refinery caught fire late in the southwestern part of the country — FILE photo

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The cause of incident was still unknown, Tasnim said.

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The damage to the plant at Abadan had no impact on oil exports from Iran, the world’s fifth-biggest exporter, as it is involved in producing gasoline and some other fuels, not the production of crude.

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ISNA reported that one of the injured was in a critical condition.

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Abadan Oil Refinery is Iran’s oldest crude processing facility in the southern oil-rich Khuzestan Province.

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The refinery, like almost all Iranian oil and gas processing plants, needs major works and renovation.

Reuters

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1329581/middle-east

Iranian political activist shot dead in Netherlands

November 9, 2017

Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A political activist who founded an Arab nationalist group seeking an independent state inside Iran was shot dead in the Netherlands, police said on Thursday.

    Iranian Ahmad Mola Nissi, 52, established the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), which seeks a separate state in the country’s oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province.

    A Dutch police statement said a suspect was detained at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday night in The Hague after trying to flee.

“His involvement in the incident is being investigated,” it said. “Emergency services were at the scene quickly and reanimated the victim, but he died shortly later.”

    Ahvazi Arabs are a minority in mainly ethnic Persian Iran, and some see themselves as under Persian occupation and want independence or autonomy.

They say they are deprived of decent living standards and civil rights. In an interview with Reuters in July, Mola Nissi said the movement wanted to “liberate Ahwaz lands and people from the Iranian occupation.”

   ASMLA’s armed wing, the Mohiuddin al Nasser Martyrs Brigade, has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Iran, including the killing of two members of the elite Revolutionary Guards in January.

Shi‘ite Muslim Iran accuses its main regional adversary, Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, of funding separatist groups active in Iran, a charge Riyadh denies.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

Chlorine gas leak in Iran — more than 300 people suffered respiratory problems

August 13, 2017

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian state TV is reporting that more than 300 people suffered respiratory and other problems after a chlorine gas leakage in the country’s south.

The Sunday report says the victims have been taken to local hospitals in the city of Dezful, some 500 miles (805 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran. Thirty people were hospitalized and the rest were released.

The report said the gas leaked from reservoirs in an abandoned warehouse of the local water supply company.

Dezful, population 250,000, is located in oil-rich Khuzestan province.

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