‘Death To The Dictator’: Iranians Take To Streets In Anti-Regime Protests

Iranians are reportedly taking to the streets to protest the Islamic regime of their country.

BBC said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani himself sought for understanding from the Iranian public as the country is plunged in several weeks of worsening energy and water shortages.

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In broadcast remarks on Tuesday morning, Rouhani noted that the drought had caused most of the country’s hydroelectric power plants to shut down, and that energy usage had risen as people turned to air conditioning to escape the scorching summer heat.

“I apologize to our dear people who have faced problems and suffering in the past few days and I urge them to cooperate [by cutting their electricity use]. People complain about power outages and they are right,” the Iranian President said.

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But overnight, people shared videos of crowds  — purportedly from the streets of Tehran — gathered in Shahr-e Rey near Tehran, Shiraz, Amol and elsewhere, with some of them could be heard shouting “Death to the dictator” and “Death to Khamenei” — referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Protests are reported in several #Iranian cities against politicians and weeks of power cuts… last night people were chanting “Death to Khamenei”, “Death to dictator”…” reported BBC Persian’s Lead Presenter, covering Iran Rana Rahimpour.

The protests went on over the past weekend as water shortages persisted.

 

The water issue has wreaked havoc on agricultural and animal operations, as well as causing power outages and triggering protests in a number of locations throughout the country earlier this month.

Iranian officials, however, continue to attribute the issue to a lack of rainfall, claiming that several hydroelectric power facilities are not running and that energy demand has increased as people turn to air conditioning to escape the scorching summer heat. However, many residents believe the issue is one of mismanagement and corruption, BBC said.

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“Anti-regime” demonstrations

The rallies were dubbed “anti-regime demonstrations” by Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist who was nearly abducted on American territory by the Iranian government.

“Khuzestan doesn’t have water and the regime is to blame for wrong water policies,” Alinejad posted on Twitter.

“These innocent people of #Khuzestan wants water,” she added in another post. “The regime has deprived them of this vital source of life. Watch how the Islamic Republic of Iran shoots at protesters in #Susangerd because they simply ask why they lack water.” 

As the story develops, at least one protester has reportedly been killed on the fourth night of protests.

Other reports noted that Iranian police also opened fire late Sunday as protests continued amid water shortages in southwestern Iran.

Economic hardships in Iran

According to the World Bank, COVID-19, widespread inflation, and huge government debt are causing economic hardship in Iran. In the two years preceding up to the emergence of the coronavirus, the country also faced significant economic difficulties.

Meanwhile, Cubans have also taken to the streets for similar reasons — as reported mismanagement in its own authoritarian regime forced shortages in basic necessities — aggravated by the resurgence of Covid-19 in the island.

President Joe Biden has already issued a statement of solidarity with “the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime” — although the US is yet to make any concrete actions to assist freedom fighters in Cuba. 

Unlike Cuba, however, where America’s trade embargo remains, the Democratic chief executive has reversed sanctions against Iran aimed at curbing illicit oil trade.

So far, the Biden administration has yet to address the ongoing chaos in Iran. The government has been seeking for renewed talks with Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.

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Steeve Strange

Steeve is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Scoop.

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