Water crisis protests persist in Iran, with chants in Tehran: Reports

Water crisis protests persist in Iran, with chants in Tehran: Reports

Protesters angry about water shortages took to the streets of southwest Iran for a sixth night in a row on Tuesday, with mounting violence, while Tehran residents chanted anti-government slogans, according to videos posted on social media on Wednesday and Iranian news outlets.

Security forces were seen using tear gas to disperse protesters in videos shared on social media. According to the semi-official Fars news agency, “rioters” murdered one police officer and injured another in the oil-rich Khuzestan province’s port city of Mahshahr.

In the town of Izeh, demonstrators chanted “Reza Shah, bless your soul” in a video, referring to the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty which was overthrown by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Activists called for protests in support of the Khuzestan protesters, and videos of women chanting “Down with the Islamic Republic” at a Tehran metro station appeared late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Reuters could not independently authenticate the videos.

At least two young men have been shot dead in the protests. Officials have blamed armed protesters, but activists said on social media they were killed by security forces.
The ethnic Arab minority in Iran, which is largely centered in Khuzestan, has raised concerns of persecution. In one video, an Arab woman protester can be heard shouting at security forces, “Sir! Sir!” The demonstration is peaceful. What drives you to shoot? Your land and water were not taken.”

Iran’s worst drought in 50 years has triggered power blackouts.

Iran’s economy has been blighted by sanctions imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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