Fuel price hikes lead to mass protests and state repression in Iran

Protests against fuel price hikes have broken out across Iran
Tom Anderson

Protests are ongoing across Iran against a recent hike in fuel prices. They began on 15 November, after the Iranian government announced an end to fuel subsidies, which will lead to a significant increase in fuel prices.

The ANF Firat News Agency spoke in particular on 16 November about how the protests had spread to Iran’s Kurdish region:

Yesterday people in many Iranian cities took to the streets against the gasoline price increase. Now the protests spread from Tehran and Tabriz to East Kurdistan. Also the provinces Yazd, Gilan, Lorestan, Islamabad and the cities of Kermanshah, Sine, Ciwanro, Ilam Saqiz and Urmia in Rojhilat (East Kurdistan) are shaken by massive protests. The people erect barricades of burning car tires.

A video from ANF Firat shows protesters being attacked by police in Tabriz on 16 November.

Over a thousand protests reportedly took place on Sunday 17 November across Iran’s 31 provinces. Protests are still ongoing as of Monday 18 November. Schools have closed, and many students have joined the protests. Shopkeepers have also shut their shops in many cities as a gesture of support for the demonstrators. More than 100 banks and over 50 shops have been set on fire, and police vehicles destroyed.

State crackdown

Iran’s ‘supreme leader’ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the protesters “thugs”, and reportedly blamed the uprising on ‘counter revolutionaries and foreign enemies’. The government now seems to have responded by shutting down internet services across the country:

Police and security forces have allegedly used lethal force against demonstrators. According to ANF Firat:

Iranian regime forces attacked the demonstrators with live rounds of ammunition and as a result of the attacks a large number of people died. So far, at least 12 people have been killed and hundreds of people were injured. According to some sources, the number of dead is over 30. According to figures given by Iranian official sources, more than 1000 people have been detained during the three days [of] demonstrations.

Featured image via ANF Firat

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Tom Anderson is part of the Shoal Collective, a cooperative producing writing for social justice and a world beyond capitalism. Twitter: @shoalcollective


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  • Show Comments
    1. US policy is to use sanctions, against oil especially, until Iran explodes. They are well on their way to success. Nobody is willing to help or argue that it’s wrong to squeeze 40 million people in this way. Iran has only one option and that is to go on the offensive even though it gives the Americans want they say they want. Whether they really do might be seen soon. The war will no doubt involve KSA and the other Gulf dictatorships as well as Israel. Turkey and therefore Nato remain ready to jump in. And people still say this is ‘necessary’ and they WANT it? Iran should act soon before it is too weakened.

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Tom Anderson