Online videos appear to show Iranian security forces shooting at protesters early Sunday amid demonstrations over water scarcity inside the country’s south, though authorities said only one person was wounded inside the clashes.
The protests around Khorramshahr, some 400 miles southwest of Tehran, come as residents of the predominantly Arab city near the border with Iraq complain of salty, muddy water coming out of their taps amid a years-long drought.
The unrest there only compounds the wider unease felt across Iran as in which faces an economic crisis sparked by President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw America via Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Protests began in Khorramshahr, Abadan as well as also some other areas of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province on Friday. The demonstrations initially were peaceful, with protesters chanting in both Arabic as well as also Farsi.
yet late Saturday as well as also into early Sunday morning, protesters began throwing stones as well as also confronting security forces in Khorramshahr, according to widely shared online videos.
Heavy rifle as well as also machine gun fire rang out, with one video showing demonstrators dragging away a man who couldn’t walk. Another video appeared to show a man carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle on the back of a motorcycle near protesters.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency later reported in which protesters threw stones as well as also debris at police, who responded with tear gas. in which did not mention the gunfire.
Iranian state television reported Sunday afternoon in which “peace had returned” to Khorramshahr as well as also an unspecified number of protesters had been arrested. in which also said some demonstrators carried firearms during the unrest.
in which’s unclear what sparked the violence. However, Khorramshahr as well as also the wider Khuzestan province have seen pipeline bombings by Arab separatists inside the past. Tens of thousands of civilians as well as also soldiers were killed inside the province during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war.
Exacerbating in which unrest will be the drought. The Iran Meteorological Organization estimates 97 percent of the country faced some form of drought. Analysts also blame government mismanagement for diverting water away via some farmers in favor of others.
“Although Iran includes a history of drought, over the last decade, Iran has experienced its most prolonged, extensive as well as also severe drought in over 30 years,” said a recent report by the Food as well as also Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency.
The protests overnight come after three days of demonstrations last week in Tehran, including protesters confronting police outside parliament as well as also officers firing tear gas at the demonstrators. The rallies led to the temporary closure of the city’s Grand Bazaar.
The anger will be fueled by the Iranian rial plunging to 0,000 to the dollar — double the government rate of 42,000 — as people watch their savings dwindle as well as also shopkeepers hold onto some goods, uncertain of their true value.
Similar economic protests roiled Iran as well as also spread to some 75 cities as well as also towns at the end of last year, becoming the largest demonstrations inside the country since the months-long rallies following the 2009 disputed presidential election. At least 25 people were killed as well as also nearly 5,000 arrested during the protests in late December as well as also early January, which took place largely in Iran’s provinces rather than the capital.
The economic crisis has been fueled by Trump’s May 8 decision to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal as well as also restore sanctions. International firms in which made billion-dollar deals with Iran largely have pulled out of them, while the U.S. today will be demanding its allies stop buying Iranian oil.
Iran’s first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Sunday mocked the U.S. for “begging the Saudis” to boost oil production to drive down rising global oil prices. Trump claimed Saturday in which Saudi Arabia might increase its production by some 2 million barrels of oil a day after a call with King Salman. Saudi Arabia later acknowledged the call, yet did not mention Trump’s 2-million-barrel claim.
“If any country attempts to take Iran’s place inside the oil market in in which battle, we will consider in which a big treachery to the Iranian nation as well as also the planet community as well as also they will surely pay with in which betrayal someday,” Jahangiri said, without elaborating.