In Iran, rising food prices sparked riots against the government

Throughout Iran they spread violent protests against rising food prices last week after the government announced it would cut state subsidies for imported wheat, driving up the price of flour products by up to 300%. Even basic necessities, including cooking oil and dairy products, have suffered significant price increases. Although the government has declared a return to peace, there are dozens of videos and images on Twitter that attest to the numerous demonstrations and the repression of the police.

The protests continue unabated, spreading like wildfire across the country: they are said to be at least 40 cities involved during weekends only, according to reports Reuters. At least 6 protesters have been killed since the protests began, according to social media and statements from local sources. Among these, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported the murder of a person in the town of Dezful, in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan. State media reported that security forces had dispersed at least 300 people in the town of Dezful, while at least 15 were arrested on Thursday evening May 12. Authorities have yet to confirm or deny the number of casualties.

Since the beginning of the demonstrations have been recorded many interruptions of the Internet line local, in what some see as an attempt by the government to prevent protests from being staged and images being shared online. The NetBlocks observatory, which monitors malfunctions and disruptions to normal network activity, recorded numerous service outages in Iran last week, commenting that “the slowdown in service could limit the free flow of information during protests. “.

Triggered by the sudden and uncontrolled rise in food prices in a country where nearly half of the 85 million people live below the poverty line, the protests quickly took over. a marked political connotation. Citizens demand greater political freedom and the end of the Islamic Republic and its leaders. Numerous videos show protesters burning pictures of Iran’s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to demand the return of exiled Reza Pahlavi, son of the Shah of Iran.

In recent years, in Iran, citizens “they took advantage of all available opportunities to signal their displeasure and displeasure with the regime that governs them,” said Al Arabiya Behnam Ben Taleblu, of the American think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. In 2019, riots sparked by rising fuel prices quickly turned into political protest, triggering the most violent crackdown in the Islamic Republic’s 40-year history. On this occasion Reuters had reported the death of 1500 people e Amnesty more than 300, data still denied by the authorities.

The current unrest is adding considerable pressure to the Iranian government, which is struggling to keep a crippled economy afloat. sanctions imposed by Washington in 2018 when the United States abandoned the 2015 Tehran nuclear deal. Attempts were made to revive the pact, but talks have stalled since last March.

[di Valeria Casolaro]

Add Comment