In Iran, nationwide protests first erupted
last Friday. With the Internet there effectively shut down, it’s been difficult to get a
clear picture of the protests. Deutsche Welle has verified videos and information
and compiled a summary of the events that have taken place over the last week.
Here’s what you need to know about the unrest: Nationwide protests first erupted last Friday
after authorities rolled out a sudden petrol-rationing scheme and slashed subsidies. This sent fuel
prices soaring by at least 50 percent. Though Iran promises to redistribute the subsidy
revenue to poorer people, it’s nonetheless getting harder for ordinary Iranians to make
ends meet. The US decision in 2018 to withdraw from the
Iran nuclear deal, reimpose sanctions and choke off the last remaining sources of Tehran’s
oil revenue, has crippled the Iranian economy. While the protests were triggered by Iran’s
worsening economic situation, people are also angry about corruption, poor living standards
and social inequality – and they’ve begun calling for a radical overhaul of the political
system. Here we see demonstrators chanting “bless
Reza Shah’s soul,“ referring to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah, or king, of Iran
– known for his efforts to modernize Iran before its 1979 Islamic Revolution
The protests have spread to cities and towns across the country.
Posters and buildings associated with Iran’s Supreme Leader, have been burned
A theological college was set on fire as were multiple police stations and cars
in various cities. Bank and gas stations were also set alight.
Amnesty International says that so far, at least 106 people have been killed
We believe that the real number [of deaths] may be much higher, given that there is now
a total, or a near total block on access to the internet and many are not able to communicate
information about the loss of their loved ones. We have also obtained eyewitness accounts
and corroborated video footage that came from inside Iran, which shows [that] security forces
are using live ammunition and tear gas and water cannons to violently disperse protesters.
So all in all, a very severe and bloody crackdown on people who are taking to the streets to
express their political and economic grievances. This has been the worst unrest in Iran since
late 2017. In recent days, both Iran’s president Hassan
Rouhani and a judiciary spokesman have claimed that calm has been restored in the country.
Rouhani blames the protests on the country’s quote “foreign enemies”