Sudden protest in Tehran metro as unrest continues in Khuzestan
Iranian social media users on Tuesday morning reported a spontaneous anti-government protest by hundreds of commuters at a busy metro station in the west of the capital, Tehran, as protests continued for a fifth consecutive night in many. towns in the province of Khuzestan.
Videos posted on social media show crowds wearing singing masks “Down with the Islamic Republic“and down with the institution of the Supreme Leader.
In recent years, Iranians have increasingly accused Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of increasing the country’s problems and, in past protests, chanted “Death to the Dictator”.
Twitterati says the spontaneous protest and chanting started in one of the women-only subway cars at Sadeghiyeh subway station in a densely populated area in the west of the capital on Tuesday morning and spread to the rest of the huge crowd waiting on the quay.
Officials have yet to comment on the Tehran metro incident.
The incident occurred due to authorities’ inability to make an appropriate announcement of the change in train schedules in a lockdown in the capital that began on Tuesday. According to Twitterati, the number of metro cars has also been reduced due to the lockdown. With fewer trains running at longer intervals, the platforms became overcrowded.
Tehran was stranded for six days on Tuesday due to a recent spike in Covid cases which, according to Tehran City Council Chairman Mohsen Hashemi, kills more than 100 per day. All government offices were closed during the lockdown and travel to and from the capital was very limited.
Since July 15, there have been protests in more than ten towns and villages in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan against the water shortage. New reports emerged on Monday evening that residents of Kouy-e Alavi and Shelangabad and several other districts in the capital of Ahvaz province joined the protests which were on their fifth night. Residents blame the government for years of mismanagement and building too many unnecessary dams that prevent water from reaching urban water reservoirs and farmland.
According to social media, special units of riot police and Revolutionary Guards have been dispatched to the area. Videos posted on Twitter show hundreds of protesters in Ahvaz throwing stones at the security forces. Gunshots can be heard in the background in some videos. Since Thursday, at least two demonstrators have been shot dead in Khuzestan.
Other videos posted to Twitter on Monday also show a crowd singing in arabic in support of Khuzestani protesters at Imam Reza’s shrine in the holy city of Mashhad, eastern Iran, on Sunday evening. Khuzestan has a large Arabic-speaking rural population that has been hit hard by water shortages.