Iranians are taking a stand against their nation’s Islamist government in protest.
For several weeks now, Iranians have endured shortages of energy and water. The BBC reports that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was made to acknowledge earlier this month that there are now problems caused by the outages. He spoke to the Iranian nation, apologizing that they have been made to endure “problems and suffering,” but asked them to continue to “cooperate” in reducing their energy use to protect the grid.
Rouhani explained that nationwide drought’s have impacted energy production, as much of the country’s power is produced through hydroelectric dams. Worsening the situation, the intense summer heat has meant that demand for electricity has risen at the same time that supply is strained.
Videos shared on social media display crowds of protestors in Shar-e Rey just outside of Tehran, as well as Amol, Shiraz, and elsewhere. Many protestors are demanding “Death to the dictator,” or “Death to Khamenei.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is considered a “Supreme Leader” within the Iranian government.
Protests persisted throughout last weekend as water scarcity affected millions. Water shortages caused devastation to agriculture and livestock operations, as well as power. Officials say that a lack of rainfall is responsible for the shortcomings, but regional locals claim that the problems stem from corruption and mismanagement.
Masih Alinejad, an American-Iranian journalist who almost got kidnapped on American soil by Iran’s government said that the protests are “anti-regime demonstrations.” She added that “the regime is to blame” for the water problems as they are using bad water policies. Alinejad also highlighted an instance where a protestor was shot by the government during a protest over water. The protestor is reportedly dead from his wounds.
The World Bank warns that Iran is enduring economic turmoil as well due to COVID-19 combined with an already high government debt and accompanying rampant inflation. The country was already weakened by economic contradictions two years before the outbreak of coronavirus.
In Cuba, demonstrators have rallied in the streets over similar complaints as their government fails to provide the population with acceptable levels of basic needs. While President Biden declared solidarity with the Cuban people, he did not take any meaningful political action to intervene in the island nation’s struggle.
As of yet, the Biden administration has not given any official response or address of the protests in Iran.
Author: Virgil Sharp