Dozens of people demonstrated in central Tehran yesterday, in protest against the electricity cuts that have prevailed in Iranian regions for weeks, with some of them chanting political slogans criticizing the authorities, which have also faced protests for more than 10 days against the backdrop of water scarcity in southwestern Iran, where at least four people were killed.
The official television reported that a limited gathering was organized on Jamhouri Street (Al-Gomhouria) in the center of the capital before noon, and said that the move was carried out by a number of shop owners in the Aladdin and Charso centers, to protest against problems resulting from the power outage, but a group tried to exploit the resentment and make the gathering political, And she started chanting slogans that violate the standards.”
A videotape published by the Iranian news agency “Fars”, which is close to the conservatives, via its Twitter account, showed a gathering of what it said were about 50 people, some of whom chanted political slogans. People appeared to be walking in the street with their hands raised in the air, while there were policemen near them, some of them on motorbikes. Demonstrators chanted slogans, including “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life for Iran” (in criticism of Tehran’s support for the Lebanese “Hezbollah” and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip).
ISNA news agency quoted the deputy governor of Tehran, Hamid Reza Kodarzi, as saying that the protest lasted about an hour, before things returned to “normal.” At about four in the afternoon, a journalist reported the presence of police cars and motorcycles near the two malls, with normal traffic recorded, and the availability of electricity in Aladdin Center.
The water scarcity also caused protests to erupt in several areas of Khuzestan Province, southwest of Iran, as of July 15.
Iran International TV quoted a source as saying that the security forces surrounded the Al-Thawra neighborhood in Ahvas from its two main entrances, as they searched everyone entering and leaving the area. He added that security forces ask passersby to unlock their mobile phones, and arrest them if they find videos of the protests.