© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Girls carry banners and play devices throughout a protest over the loss of life of 22-year-old Kurdish girl Mahsa Amini in Iran, within the Kurdish-controlled metropolis of Qamishli, northeastern Syria September 26, 2022. The banner reads : ‘Girls are life an
By Parisa Hafezi
DUBAI (Reuters) -Iranian safety forces intensified a crackdown on anti-government protests in a number of Kurdish cities on Monday, as demonstrations elsewhere in Iran unfold into the nation’s very important power sector.
Protests have swept Iran since Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old from Iran’s Kurdish area, died on Sept. 16 whereas being held for “inappropriate apparel”, marking one of many boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic for the reason that 1979 revolution.
Whereas college college students have performed a pivotal function within the protests with dozens of universities on strike, unconfirmed experiences on social media confirmed staff at Abadan and Kangan oil refineries and the Bushehr Petrochemical Undertaking had joined in.
Iran’s oil ministry was not instantly accessible to remark.
A mixture of mass protests and strikes by oil staff and Bazaar retailers helped to brush the clergy to energy within the Iranian revolution 4 many years in the past.
With U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran’s oil exports over the nation’s nuclear programme, analyst Karim Sadjadpour mentioned giant and sustained strikes amongst power staff may carry the Islamic Republic to its knees.
“Iran is much less depending on oil as a share of GDP than they had been in 1978, however power exports are nonetheless the lifeblood of the economic system,” mentioned Sadjadpour, a senior fellow on the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace.
China, Iran’s largest oil buyer, is without doubt one of the few international locations that continues to do enterprise with Iran regardless of sanctions. However an oil staff’ strike, consultants say, may imply there can be no oil to export, legally or illegally.
A video on Twitter confirmed dozens of staff had blocked the street to the Bushehr petrochemical plant, in Assaluyeh on Iran’s Gulf coast, chanting “Loss of life to the Dictator”.
Unfazed by teargas, golf equipment, and, in lots of instances, stay ammunition utilized by the safety forces, based on rights teams, protesters throughout Iran have stick with demonstrators burning footage of Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling for the downfall of the clerical institution.
Tensions have been particularly excessive between authorities and the Kurdish minority which human rights teams say has lengthy been oppressed – a cost the Islamic Republic denies.
Human rights group Hengaw reported a heavy presence of armed safety forces within the Kurdish cities of Sanandaj, Saqez and Divandareh on Monday. It mentioned not less than 5 Kurdish residents had been killed and over 150 injured in protests since Saturday.
Movies shared on social media confirmed protests in dozens of cities throughout Iran early on Monday, with fierce clashes between protesters and riot police in cities and cities throughout Amini’s native Kurdistan province.
The Iranian authorities have blamed the violence on an array of enemies together with armed Iranian Kurdish dissidents, with the Revolutionary Guards attacking their bases in neighbouring Iraq various instances through the newest unrest.
Iran has a observe report of placing down unrest amongst its greater than 10 million Kurds, a part of a Kurdish minority whose aspirations for autonomy have additionally led to conflicts with authorities in Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
Heavy gunfire might be heard in a number of movies shared on Twitter by the activist 1500tasvir. A video confirmed a number of explosions creating blinding flashes in a neighbourhood of Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdistan province.
Activists mentioned on social media that a number of folks, together with two youngsters, had been killed by safety forces within the province. Reuters couldn’t confirm the movies and posts.
Not less than 185 folks, together with 19 minors, have been killed, a whole lot injured and 1000’s have been arrested by safety forces, based on rights teams. Blaming the protests on Iran’s overseas foes, authorities mentioned “rioters” have killed not less than 20 members of the safety forces.