The mobilization does not weaken in Iran despite the repression
DUBAI (Reuters) – Fresh clashes erupted between protesters and security forces in Iran on Tuesday as, according to videos posted on social media, tanks were driven into Iranian Kurdistan, the home region of Mahsa Amini whose death in custody caused a huge wave of anger.
Challenged as it has never been since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with demonstrators calling for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the regime has reacted as it does every time it is challenged: by repression.
According to human rights organisations, at least 185 people, including 19 children, have been killed by security forces since the first demonstrations on September 17, the day after the death of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for the wearing of an illegal veil. Hundreds more were injured and thousands arrested.
According to the Iranian government, around 20 members of the security forces were killed.
The protest movement extended Monday evening to the energy sector, vital for the country’s economy despite international sanctions, in particular to the Abadan refinery according to videos posted on social networks of which Reuters has not could confirm the authenticity.
The official Iranian agency Irna on Tuesday denied any disturbance at the Abadan refinery, in the south-west of the country, assuring that the activity is normal.
She did not comment on petrochemical plants in Kangan and Bushehr, where strikes and protests also reportedly broke out. A regional official said they were linked to wage demands that protesters tried to hijack.
Tension is particularly high in the north of the country, in the region of origin of the Kurdish minority who have long felt marginalized.
According to a local human rights organization, Hengaw, security forces opened fire on homes in the town of Sanandaj on Monday.
The Iranian government has blamed the violence on Kurdish dissidents whose bases in Iraq have been repeatedly bombed by the Revolutionary Guards, the regime’s elite unit.
(Dubai office, written by Michael Georgy, French version Tangi Salaün, editing by Kate Entringer)
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