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Protests sparked by rising food prices spread to Iran


As thousands of Iranians, already weary of inflation and unemployment, took to the streets this week, their protests quickly turned from voicing their food grievances to expressing their displeasure with the ruling establishment.

“They have no hope, they have no trust in the government and they can’t tolerate the status quo anymore,” said Omid Memarian, an Iranian expert with nonprofit Democracy for the Arab World Now. based in the United States. “This triangle in any country would create a powder keg ready to explode.”

Nationwide protests against the government rocked Iran in 2017, 2019 and 2021. In each case, a specific issue like collapsing investment funds, rising gas prices or water shortages triggered the unrest, which later turned into calls for the downfall of the Islamic Republic system. . The government crushed the protests with a brutal crackdown, killing, injuring and arresting hundreds of people.

On Friday, demonstrators took to the streets at night in cities including Ahwaz, Qazvin, Shahreh Kurd and Dezful, chanting slogans against senior Iranian officials, calling on clerics to “get lost” and chanting “death to the dictator”, social media video footage. the media showed. In one case on Thursday evening, the crowd tore down a banner with the picture of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, to cheers from onlookers, according to videos.

Men and women marched down the street in Shahreh Kurd calling President Ibrahim Raisi, a conservative cleric in his first year in office, a ‘liar’ for failing to deliver on his promises of economic improvement, and demanding his resignation.

In several videos from Khuzestan and Lurestan in southern and southwestern Iran, security guards are seen firing shots in the air into streets crowded with unarmed people. The videos have not been independently verified by The New York Times. In one of the town of Boroujerd on Friday evening, a man’s voice shouts “they are shooting at the crowd” and a series of gunshots are heard in the background.

Iran has disrupted internet connectivity, sometimes shutting down access completely and other times slowing it down or switching to a national intranet, in the six provinces where protests have taken place, said Amir Rashidi, a Washington-based digital rights expert on Iran.

nytimes Gt

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